Roanoke City Council unanimously approves plans to revitalize historic Gainsboro

ROANOKE, Va. – Millions of dollars are being invested in the historic Gainsboro neighborhood in Roanoke.

It’s part of the Gainsboro hub concept plan approved by the Roanoke City Council at Monday night’s meeting.

During the meeting, many people from Gainsboro shared their support for the plan.

“We are excited tonight to revitalize for people who have roots in the neighborhood to become ambassadors in the neighborhood again,” said Gainsboro native, Anita Wilson.

Gainsboro was once known as a vibrant area for African Americans before urban renewal hurt their homes and businesses in the 1950s.

This plan focuses on three parts of the neighborhood: Henry Street, Jefferson Street, and the area around the former Claytor Memorial Clinic.

The goal is to create more community spaces, address affordable housing needs, and recreate a vibrant business district.

“In this particular area, they were very specific in health and wellness and supporting entrepreneurship in particularly minority-owned businesses.”

The project already has two sources of funding.

A grant from Virginia’s Department of Housing and Community Development, plus five million dollars from American Rescue Plan funds, which must be used by the end of 2026.


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