Blacksburg Town Council votes to rezone old middle school site for development

Developer aims to break ground on housing, hotel this summer

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The long-vacant Blacksburg Middle School site could soon take on a new life.

The Town Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to rezone the site and enter into a development contract with Midtown Development Partners. Developer Jim Cowan says this is the final major hurdle they needed to clear before they could break ground on the project, which his company has dubbed Midtown Blacksburg.

"We've worked on this project for years, and knowing we're going to be able to move forward and take the vision everyone has talked about for that site and make it a reality is super exciting," Cowan said.

The Blacksburg Middle School site has been vacant since the school moved in 2002.

Cowan aims to break ground on Midtown Blacksburg this summer. The first phase will feature housing and a hotel, which Cowan says could be complete by the fall of 2020.

"One of the things we need downtown are folks who live here and work here," Cowan said. "We've got a list now of about 80 folks who want to put down a reservation either for a townhouse, a condominium, or one of the residential units."

The plan for the site includes restaurants, office space and a prominent central park. The town of Blacksburg also plans to build its new police station and a new parking garage on the site.

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