BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. – Discussions continue over a major community development in the Roanoke Valley area.
Murray Cider Co. for years produced ciders that would be distributed across the United States. In 2015, the company shut down its manufacturing and the property has yet to change since.
However, The Wilkinson Group Inc. has made extensive efforts to add a traditional neighborhood to the property.
A traditional neighborhood, compared to the more common sprawl landscapes, has more focus on walkability and inclusion. Sprawl landscapes were built for people to use their cars more.
Seth Wilkinson, Vice-President of The Wilkinson Group, says his family’s company works to go back to more ‘traditional’ style neighborhoods.
“So a solution to that is creating a traditional neighborhood…that’s mixed-use and that incorporates housing, businesses, office space, community space, and we hope to have that all here on this property,” Wilkinson said.
Rather than tearing down the history of Murray Cider Company, the developers are hoping to incorporate it into the new neighborhood. They’ll do it by preserving the old buildings and turning it into a central space.
“We envision this area as kind of a neighborhood center, a place where the residents of our community and neighboring communities can come together,” Wilkinson said. “We are very much looking to attract local businesses. We want it to feel like Botetourt…Not like something you would see somewhere else in the country.”
The type of neighborhood the Wilkinson Group goes against is not the only untraditional thing they’ve done. Their development process has also been kind of traditional as they ask for the communities input early on.
“We’ve decided to do it a little bit differently and bring in neighbors from the peach tree neighborhood that’s beside us and other local businesses, stakeholders, stakeholders, county officials to be involved in the planning process,” Wilkinson said.
It is very early on in the planning and development stages to have a full picture of what the neighborhood will look like. However, Wilkinson hopes to have a more finalized deal and begin developing in early 2023.