ROANOKE, Va. – Dale Wilkinson is dreaming about the future of Roanoke's historic Fire Station No. 1. He's a member of Old School Partners LLC, a development group working with the city to redevelop and restore the local landmark.
"This is an icon for Roanoke. There are very few properties that have the historical significance that this building does," said Wilkinson.
Ahead of the next City Council meeting, Old School Partners has submitted a proposal and plans for the property. Seven bed-and-breakfast-style rooms, along with an open event space, would be upstairs. And downstairs the group imagines a mixed use space with a tap house, pop-up vendor and also retail in the form of a Black Dog Salvage general store.
"People come here to see us, meaning Black Dog Salvage, so why not have a convenient destination downtown that's featured in a vintage firehouse which is truly an icon here," said Mike Whiteside, co-owner of Black Dog Salvage.
It's an icon because the walls hold a lot of history. And Wilkinson said Old School Partners are committed to renovating the fire station without hurting its history. The goal is a unique building with a unique experience -- another reason for locals and tourists to venture downtown.
"South end of the market anchor. We want vibrancy. We want to add another layer of fabric to the community," said Wilkinson.
Old School Partners will present the proposal to City Council Monday.