Roanoke City Council approves rezoning for new apartment development in northeast

Hershberger Meadows promises designer features at affordable prices

By Shayne Dwyer - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va - Roanoke City leaders have given the green light to a new apartment development in Northeast Roanoke. Hershberger Meadows promises to bring designer features at a more affordable price, but some neighbors have raised concerns.

The development is set for land on the southeast corner of the intersection of Hershberger and Williamson roads. The developer has already purchased the needed land and, on Monday night, the council approved the rezoning request needed to move forward.

That moves the new complex one step closer to becoming a reality. The local developers behind the project envision it as a place where people can spend less on rent and more on other things.

"I envision a working husband and wife, raising two children. They make maybe $50,000 to $60,000 a year and they will get housing for less than $10,000 a year," developer Venkat Reddy said.

The council approved the rezoning request unanimously, based on a recommendation from the planning commission. A few neighbors voiced concerns to both bodies. Some particularly want defined separation between their existing homes and the new apartments.

"Wrought iron fencing, a couple of lights, maybe an entrance sign that says Hershberger Meadows, something to delineate," neighbor Cheryl Patterson said.

The apartments will have designer features at a price point at or just below market rate. They'll list for $750 to $800 a month for two-bedroom units in a section of town that hasn't had a whole lot of new residential development. Mayor Sherman Lea is excited about what's on the table.

"I like the look of them and so it's a shot in the arm in that area," Lea said. "But, again, you're going to have the issues when you move into an existing neighborhood, but, overall, we're pleased with it."

While neighbors' concerns are still there, the city is hopeful everyone can meet in the middle. The developer said he's ready to do what it takes to make sure the people already living there don't feel pushed out.

"I'm not a person, a developer, who comes in from out of state, develops it and leaves it. I'm going to be there for the rest of my life in the Roanoke Valley so this is something proud I want to do so I can hang my hat on (it)," Reedy said.


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