Roanoke City looking to buy and demolish decades-old Ramada Inn

The plans have been in the making for three to four years

A decades-old Roanoke hotel is set to be torn down after more than a dozen floods.

ROANOKE, Va. – The Ramada Inn could soon be leaving Roanoke City.

“In a way I am sad but I am very happy with the way that particular area is growing,” Ramada Owner Sunny Shah said.

Thanks to a grant from FEMA, the city will get roughly $3.5 million dollars to purchase the property and will have to cover about $1 million more to remove it.

“FEMA offers this program for properties that do flood regularly to provide funds so the property can be purchased and then the locality can remove something in the flood plain” Stormwater Manager Ian Shaw said.

The site has been here for decades. One of the big concerns of the city is its proximity to the river since the site has flooded several times over the last few years.

Ramada Owner Sunny Shah says this process started three or four years back.

Shah says the flooding is not only a safety concern but has also brought new problems for the hotel.

“As the flooding kept coming in, the area got changed, more people hang out around the property, the locals, homeless people are in the booths and the greenway. This became a headache. We find them in our elevator, the laundry room, they sneak in and break into the hotel rooms,” Shah said.

While negotiations for the final price tag of the project haven’t started yet, there are rules to follow for what the property could become in the future.

“It is going to go back to natural space, it has to be some sort of a supplement to the floodplain so hopefully it’s a little bit of benefit to the properties in the area,” Shaw said.

The work could take two to three years to complete.

About the Author:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.