What are the future plans for Wasena Park? - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

What will become of Wasena Park?

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A trip down Winchester Avenue in Wasena shows several signs in yards against any potential  property development on the horizon.

Lucas Thornton is known in Roanoke for revitalization of The Lawson building and Community School properties.

Chris Chittum, Roanoke City Director of Planning and Building Development shared plans Thornton has discussed with the city and neighbors about developing a section of Wasena Park that is currently a gravel parking lot.

Research of that property shows that back in 1910 the area in question was originally slated for housing development but over the years that did not materialize.  The section in question is about 3.5 acres in size.  It has a natural border in the form of train tracks that are owned by Norfolk Southern. 

Chittum says, any development in the area would not take over the park's, softball fields, basketball and tennis courts, or the skate park.

Outside of the 3.5 acres in question the park has a total of 22.4 acres.  He says, the park and greenway are actually attractive to the idea of a 50 townhouse project for the area.

Neighbors tell WSLS they are concerned about the uncertainty of what the development would look like.  They are also worried that construction would take place without their input. 

Chittum explains there would be an opportunity to give feedback about any plans for the neighborhood.  He stresses the plan is in very early stages.

Potential plans for Wasena Park come on the heels of development nearby, including apartments and the Wasena Tap room restaurant and bar.

Wasena Tap Room has been open for a little over a year now.   General Manager, West Robison tells us business has been great.  He also said, it would be nice to see more businesses along store fronts on Main Street across from Gettty Mart convenience store.

Chittum says, past projects have shown that when more people live in a neighborhood the local businesses become more sustainable.  He adds any plans for the area would also fall in line with preserving the integrity of neighborhood history and architecture.

WSLS 10 will have more tonight at 6:00pm