ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Small businesses are thriving on Route 419, the busiest corridor in Roanoke County and the second busiest in the entire Roanoke Valley. More than 43,000 vehicles pass through Route 419 every day, making it a highly trafficked area many small businesses are looking to get in on.
On Thursday, the expansion of TJ Maxx will be complete, as the HomeGoods portion of the store officially opens to the public.
Renovations continue on the old Allstate building as well. When work is finished in the next year, the building will be split up into several smaller businesses, which will bring more than 500 new employees to that location.
Plans are also underway for a new outparcel development at Tanglewood Mall. That announcement is expected to be made by early next year.
"It's a great opportunity for success for any retail operation," says Jill Loope, the economic development director for Roanoke County. "We did a market analysis and it was very extensive, it really spoke to the demand and the quality of the band in this corridor."
While we have seen some closures announced, like Consignment 419, Loope says we can expect to see backfill in those vacant spaces, with new businesses rushing to fill the empty spots.
We're seeing new businesses pop up along the Route 419 corridor as well, like OrangeTheory Fitness, a nationally known workout program. Studio Manager Amanda Nastiuk expects the high traffic in the area to bring in more members.
"Even folks who don't live on this side of town often work at LewisGale or somewhere similar," she says. "A lot of people are passing by, so it's easy on, easy off of Route 419."
Already more than 200 people in the area have signed up as founding members for OrangeTheory Fitness. It's expected to open to the founding members in mid-November and officially open to the public by early December.
Kelly Café is one of the newest businesses on Route 419, officially opening over the weekend. J Jones, the cafe's manager, says business has been steady since the grand opening.
Jones says they've been working hard to get their brand out on social media sites, like Facebook. He says having more than 40,000 vehicles pass by their shop on Route 419 each day is also making a big difference. In the first few days of business, the reaction to their shop and homemade gelato has been very positive.
"It's great, the gelato comes out really rich and smooth with a quality you won't get if you buy it from a store or have it shipped in," says Jones.
He says the café expects business to continue picking up as more people become familiar with their shop.
Further up Route 419, just over the Salem line, another expanding business is currently under construction in the Ridgewood Farms shopping center across from LewisGale. David Kembel, the owner of Kembel Tax Services in Roanoke, says he made the decision to open a second location along the busy corridor to make it easier for his customers in other parts of the Roanoke Valley to get to his business.
"This will help a lot of our folks in the Cave Spring area, Roanoke County, Salem, Glenvar, and the New River Valley," says Kembel. "A lot of folks we get from all those areas cannot go to Salem."
Kembel says he has faith in the location, citing a 10-year contract on the new site.
We can also expect to see regional restaurant chains, like Famous Toastery and Duck Donuts, opening along Route 419 in the coming months.