Proposed town center near Valley View Mall would mix homes, businesses

Developer got feedback at public meeting Wednesday night

ROANOKE, Va. – A new mixed-use town center could be coming to the Roanoke Valley near Valley View Mall.

North Carolina based-developer "Pavilion" submitted plans to the city, and Wednesday night they took those ideas to the people with a public meeting.

The meeting was held at William Fleming High School, where people learned about the potential of a new, mixed commercial-residential development.

The development is planned for the Evans Spring area, which is south of Valley View Mall across 581.

The design plan is split into three phases and includes space for a major anchor store, smaller retailers, a grocery store, a golf/entertainment area and residential buildings.

The land is about 130 acres and isn't city-owned. In order to develop it, Pavilion would have to buy the property from several different owners, including private homeowners.

Chris Chittum, the director of planning, building and development, for the city of Roanoke said it's still early on in the process and the area would have to be rezoned for mixed-use, instead of just residential.

"Our message is to get engaged in the process, especially if you live near or would be impacted by development there and stay engaged throughout the entire process," Chittum said.

The city has been hoping to develop this area for nearly a decade, ever since the I-581 diverging diamond was funded and built.

Wednesday night, residents expressed concerns and had questions about what the development would look like.

"I don't see a need for a town center when we have Valley View on our back, about five minutes from where I live," said Yuvonne Tinsley, who lives near the proposed development.

The city sees this development as a community addition that could be sustained over time.

"It's creation of a place that will be with us for many years and not be something that just goes through the cycle of ‘it's new' and then it gets worn out. We want something that will persist like our downtowns and neighborhood centers do," Chittum said.

There's another public meeting Thursday night at William Fleming from 6 to 8 p.m.



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