CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The nonprofit Friends of Charlottesville Downtown hosted the "How Do You Love Downtown" event Friday.

It works with the local government and community to improve the social and economic aspects of downtown Charlottesville on and off the Pedestrian Mall.

New City Manager Sam Sanders spoke to the crowd of business and community leaders.

Sanders worked in economic development for 15 years before moving to Charlottesville. He said he's bringing that experience to help the nonprofit's mission.

"It's important to know where our business community stands, how they feel, what are they experiencing. It's an opportunity for the community at large to show support to demonstrate that they get it, that they are willing to do what they can to support it. And when challenges arise, it's something that we can do and work on together," he said.

Friends of Charlottesville Downtown has a lot planned for the coming year, like a new electric train for Magic on the Mall.

Members said their partnership with Sanders will let them attack other projects like infrastructure, hygiene and the unhoused.