ROANOKE, Va. – Construction is underway on the old Heironimus building -- a large, vacant building in downtown Roanoke -- and the developers said Monday that the building will be ready in about a year.
A spokesman with the Richmond developer, the Monument Companies, told 10 News that the group plans on finishing the apartments and having the commercial spaces ready for owners to move in by the end of next year.
The sidewalk and parking spaces blocked off on Church Avenue will stay that way until construction is done. Signs are up saying the nearby businesses are still open, but some owners, including at Book No Further in the 16 West building, said the work is having a negative impact on their stores.
“It's been, I would say heavy to possibly severe,” Doloris Vest said. “This is only our second year in this spot during Christmas and the sales are definitely down over last year.”
She said that the signs that are up are helping to make some people aware that other businesses are still open, but she believes many drivers and pedestrians won’t turn onto Church Avenue because they see the construction.
Businesses owners do say that once construction is done they all should benefit from the increased traffic.
There’s no update on which businesses may be going into the space, but a spokesman for the group working to lease the building told 10 News there has been significant interest in the spaces.
The old Heironimus building is on the corner of Church Avenue and South Jefferson Street. It’s been vacant for more than 20 years, despite the growth in other areas downtown.
It’s approximately 110,000 square feet. Up to 25,000 square feet of that is commercial space.
Major renovations are needed. In August, during the announcement of the sale, the developer outlined plans that include making about 80 apartments and having space for restaurants and other businesses. There is space for on-site pool and gym facilities.
Chris Johnson and Tom Dickey, principles of The Monument Companies, are the contract buyers for the property. The group has developed vacant and historic properties throughout Richmond.