Downtown developer Chuck Lewis has died

Chuck Lewis, a prominent Charlottesville businessman who owned and developed York Place on the Downtown Mall and founded Kathy’s Produce, died on Monday at age 70 after a long battle with cancer.

The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce issued a statement today expressing sadness at Lewis’ death. Writes Chamber President Timothy Hulbert, "His early belief and investment in the viability of the Downtown Mall helped move the Mall to the great success it is today. Chuck’s quiet generosity to many charitable causes went unnoticed to many, but greatly appreciated by the beneficiaries."

Lewis was Charlottesville’s most successful African-American businessman, a self-made millionaire who grew up in rural Virginia and began a produce company with his late wife, Kathy. He developed York Place in 1995, the same year he wrote a memoir called All the Riches of Job that chronicled his rise to wealth. He also owned other properties Downtown, including the space that until late 2008 housed Sage Moon Gallery.

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