New community center to be built in Northwest Roanoke

It will have a market, a banking center, a wellness center, and an excel center

Community partners teamed up to open a resource center on Melrose Ave

ROANOKE, Va. – A new community center is coming to Northwest Roanoke in the existing Goodwill Roanoke Jobs Campus on Melrose Avenue.

The addition of Melrose Plaza will add much-needed amenities to an underserved neighborhood.

City leaders and community members came together on Tuesday for a glimpse into the future of Northwest Roanoke.

“The sooner that we get this operational, the sooner we can serve this community,” said Richmond Vincent, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys, the City of Roanoke, and other partners teamed up to develop a new community center.

The center will feature four key areas: a banking center, an excel center, a wellness center, and a market.

“It’s going to really help this community begin to have the access to healthy and fresh foods,” said Vincent.

The grocery store, called the Market on Melrose, will be full-service and will offer healthy and affordable food options in an area that currently has limited choices.

“These residents, including myself, have had to figure out ways to navigate the inequality that not having a grocery store brings along. With that neglect brings health disparities,” said Marion Ware, a community advocate.

The banking center will provide one-on-one financial counseling to residents, the wellness center will focus on physical and mental health, and the excel center will give adults the opportunity to earn a high school diploma.

All programs will be free for area residents.

“All of these services are going to be free to this community, so it’s imperative that we get folks out to shop at the grocery store. Visit the Wellness Center, visit the Business Center,” added Vincent.

The Melrose Plaza is expected to be complete by the end of 2024, with hopes the center will lift up community members for success in Northwest Roanoke.

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.