Renovated old buildings help bring new revenue sources to Roanok - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Renovated old buildings help bring new revenue sources to Roanoke

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What was once old is new again as old vacant buildings are being turned into productive properties. It's a real estate trend seen in Roanoke and other places across the country. In the past five years, more than half a dozen existing buildings have been converted for alternative use in the Star City. Investors have pumped millions of dollars into old buildings such as the Patrick Henry and The Cotton Mill. Those changes have attracted more people and increased revenues in Roanoke.

The old Roanoke Health Department building has been boarded up and unused for years. Currently the building may look like an eyesore but it will soon become a multimillion dollar investment.

"We expect a minimum of about $2 million in investment for a building that has sat vacant for a long time and produced no tax dollars" said Wayne Bowers, Roanoke City Economic Development.

City leaders used tax breaks and other incentives to encourage developers to restore unused properties such as the former YMCA. It's part of efforts to take old buildings and find productive uses. Putting vacant buildings back to use has helped generate revenue and revitalize the area. For instance, the old Post Office building on Church Street was assessed at $3.7 million dollars in 2011. Then the building was renovated and put back to use and the assessed value nearly doubled to $6.7 million. On top of increased property values, building renovations such as the changes made at the old Patrick Henry hotel have attracted new people and businesses to Roanoke.

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