Blacksburg's IMAX theater could mean more tax revenue - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Blacksburg's IMAX theater could mean more tax revenue

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BLACKSBURG, VA -

9:38 p.m.

Blacksburg Town Council voted unanimously to rezone First & Main Shopping Center, so Cinebowl & IMAX can be built.

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5:36 p.m.

An empty space is chalk full of potential in Blacksburg.  A vote tonight could have developers breaking ground on a new Imax, Cinebowl and Grille soon at the town's First and Main Shopping Center.

"We are hopefully going to have new customers, new connections coming in that will help increase sales," said Mark Shrader, who co-owns Bull and Bones Restaurant.

It is a place that's served as First and Main's anchor tenant for nearly five years. After Tuesday night's vote, which is to approve re-zoning,  Frank's Theaters will take that spot.

"All the shops here have helped out in many different ways in being anchor tenants, in being a destination.  Frank's is just going to add to that and it will add a regional pull for First and Main," said Shrader.

Town leaders say  in 2012, the complex's restaurants contributed around $325,000 in meals tax money and Bull and Bones contributed the most of that share. The developer's attorney claims in the past, when Frank's Theaters have opened in a new area, they have seen a significant increase in tax revenue.Town council member Krisha Chachra is the liaison between the town and the shopping center. She is hopeful the expected revenue increase will help pay for town improvements.

"Facilities such as you know the upgrading maybe of our Blacksburg Parks and Rec, a new Fire and Rescue station, maybe upgrading some of our trail systems and our green spaces. That all takes money and that money and those resources can come from new development," said Chachra.

Now if everything goes according to plan, this project is scheduled to be completed at the beginning of next year.

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