Tour encourages businesses to fill more office space in Downtown - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Tour encourages businesses to fill more office space in Downtown Roanoke

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Encouraging people to shop, eat, and live in Downtown Roanoke is all a part of Downtown Roanoke Inc.'s mission. Now, they are targeting moving businesses into office space.

DRI showed business leaders 600,000 square feet of space during their office tour and panel discussion.

They hope by showing existing companies that have done well in the area, they'll help get more people to work downtown.

"The goal here is to raise the profile of Downtown Roanoke as a business location," DRI Economic Development Specialist Price Gusthall says.

Price Gusthall tells us that in the 1990's, Downtown Roanoke had about 12,000 employees working in the area. Now, the number has increased to 15,000 employees.

There's also a 7% vacancy rate, which Gusthall says means there's still plenty of room for future growth.

"You have great office space, office space you can't find outside of downtown market." Gutshall says.

Pam Banks says she's can't imagine not working in Downtown Roanoke.

"I love working downtown. There's a variety of people, businesses, and I get to do a little shopping sometimes," Pam Banks says.

She says she remembers a time when most of the buildings had "For Lease" signs in the windows. She's happy to see much fewer of those.

"I'm glad everything's moving back downtown," Smith says.