Roanoke mayoral candidate promises to pursue Evans Spring development if elected

Project fell through earlier this year

ROANOKE, Va. – There may still be hope for a project canceled earlier this year that was expected to bring 1,600 jobs to Roanoke.

A Charlotte, North Carolina, company was planning to spend $250 million to develop the wooded area across from Valley View Mall but withdrew plans in February because of lack of support from the community.

At a news conference Tuesday, Roanoke mayoral candidate David Bowers said if he is elected in November he will do everything he can to make the project happen.

“Let me be clear,” said Bowers. “We need both a development on that Evans Spring site and one that is compatible to the next door neighborhood. This is not urban renewal, it is economic development. As we seek to repair any damage to our Black citizens due to urban renewal, let’s have a plan. Not incremental, but broad and expansive in its recommendations.”

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea, who is running for re-election, said whether or not he would try to get the project back if he’s re-elected would depend on what the community wants.

He said the city is committed to working with the community and any development will have to conform to the city’s guidelines, which include being accepted by the community.