Former Virginia Museum of Transportation Building may get new owner

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Former Virginia Museum of Transportation Building may get new owner (Image 1)

ROANOKE (WSLS) - The former Virginia Museum of Transportation may soon get a new owner. Developer John Anstey is interested in the property and sent a proposal to Roanoke City, which owns the building.

He wants to design a place for two businesses. One side will have a tasting room for breweries and another will have outdoor gear like kayaks for Greenway users. 

The developer plans to put in $200,000 in the project. Some things he's planning on doing include replacing the decks, adding a sidewalk to the greenway, and a small parking lot. He still wants to maintain the original train depot design.

While it may seem like a great location possible flooding has steered prospective owners away but not Anstey. He experienced flooding at his advertising firm in downtown Roanoke last July and says he is prepared. 

"I'm well aware of the process we're in a 100 year flood way here," says Anstey. "My advertising firm is in a 100 year flood plain and we actually experienced that in 2013 July. We had water that came up to the front flood and we have flood insurance on the property."

Anstey plans on paying $2,000 for the building. While it may not seem much, the city says more money will come from future economic development in that area.

"The city is in a unique position of we don't have to have the full return on the dollar initially cause we'll get the return overtime as the property that's generating no taxes will go on the tax roll," says Wayne Bowers, director of economic development for Roanoke.

A public hearing will be held on August 18 about this proposed sale.

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