Downtown Roanoke features shopping, restaurants and markets.
Project leaders for The Bridges development along Jefferson Street hope to successfully connect the center of Roanoke with Carilion Clinic's campus, the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Roanoke River.
Jason Vickers-Smith is a partner in WVS Companies, developer of The Bridges and Rocketts Landing in Richmond.
Regarding the Roanoke project, Vickers-Smith says, "We hope that it will take as little as five years, but ten years is probably a more realistic time frame. It is about seven hundred thousand square feet of product."
The much larger Rocketts Landing development brought life back to the old port part of the James River. It incorporates a community that was transformed from industrial property into neighborhood living with a total of sixty acres and three million square feet to use.
He explains, "One of the things that we do is try to make authentic projects."
The goal even in the earliest stages of the WVS Roanoke project is to re-purpose old industrial buildings and incorporate new construction along with architecture that is similar to surrounding neighborhoods.
Rocketts Landing has three hundred condos and a handful of town homes. There are three restaurants including Conch Republic that features outdoor dining with Richmond about a mile away in the distance.
Vickers-Smith has a vision for Roanoke that includes incorporating views of Mill Mountain Star into construction.
He says, "It has a real heritage. There are industrial buildings that are left that can be re-purposed to make it authentic."
There's that word again to describe what will become of this twenty acre tract of land, a piece of property that hopes to connect many growing aspects of the Roanoke Valley.