New Virginia Tech-Carilion expansion could boost Roanoke real estate market

On Tuesday, construction will begin on a massive biomedical research facility

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - The Virginia Tech-Carilion footprint continues to grow in the Roanoke Valley. 

On Tuesday, construction will officially begin on a new massive biomedical research expansion. And that expansion will likely have a ripple effect on the real estate market.

"As far as Carilion coming in and expanding, you would think that their core people would buy and then students would be renters so I can definitely see a push coming from that influx of people," said Kathy Chandler, president of the Roanoke Valley Association of Realtors.

The $90 million project could bring hundreds, even thousands, of new students and researchers to the area. According to real estate experts, those new arrivals will be entering a market that has been steadily growing since the recession. 

"The housing market and the residential sales has been strong all year long. As a matter of fact, last month, we sold more houses in a single month than we have since 2005," said Chandler.

According to the U.S. Census, Roanoke's population has been increasing since 2010. Chandler credits new economy boosters like health care, research technology and craft beer with causing that increase. More places to work means more people need places to live.

"People are taking advantage of being in the Blue Ridge. Roanoke is doing a very nice job of making that a selling point to attract younger people to come in and experience Roanoke for the first time." said Chandler.

The construction kickoff for the new Virginia Tech-Carilion research facility begins Tuesday at 1:30 at the VTC Health Sciences and Technology Campus. Gov. Terry McAuliffe is expected to be in attendance. 

Copyright 2017 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.