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Courtesy Andie Gibson
Sunken City Brewing Co. is located at Westlake beside Westlake Towne Center.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Several businesses are seeing the demand for their services rise in Franklin County's fast-growing Smith Mountain Lake area and have chosen Westlake Towne Center to open new locations.
The Moneta development's newest additions include a brewery, medical offices and a medical lab. The development's corporate ownership also is trying to bring at least one restaurant to the center.
"We've seen renewed growth," said Lee Willard, vice president of corporate holdings for The Willard Companies , which owns the 200-acre development on Virginia 122.
He attributes the growth to a better economy and an increasing population, especially retirees.
The 2010 census showed a 19 percent increase in population in Franklin County from the 2000 census, to 56,411 from 47,286.
That increase has gotten the attention of businesses interested in meeting the needs of the growing community, Willard said.
"It's really become a vibrant area," Willard said. "People don't need to leave to go to Roanoke. [The center] has really become a self-sufficient development."
Anchor businesses include a 75,000-square-foot Kroger and Westlake Cinema, a four plex movie theater.
Westlake's newest attraction is Sunken City Brewing Company . The $2.3 million brewery, named for the villages that were flooded to create the lake, is in a newly constructed 8,800-square-foot building. It includes a 25-barrel, four-vessel brew house with a tasting room and pub, retail store and beer garden. The brewery has an automatic canning system.
Sunken City is producing two beers, Dam Lager and Red Clay IPA.
Brewery owner Jerome Parnell said he chose to build his brewery at Westlake because it was the only site at the lake that had all the utilities he needed, including treated water and a sewer system.
He also liked the location.
"I wanted to be a destination at a destination," Parnell said. "Westlake Towne Center is the epicenter of the retail traffic at the lake."
He estimated last week that the brewery, which opened May 10, had already attracted more than 1,000 visitors.
Another area of growth at the center is the medical field. Carilion Clinic has opened several offices at Westlake and is about to complete living quarters for the crew of the Life-Guard 10 helicopter, which has a hangar at Westlake.
"It's almost as though Carilion has created a campus in the back of our shopping center," Willard said.
Among Carilion's newest offices is VelocityCare , which provides urgent care. Carilion also has recently added orthopedics and podiatry practices. In addition, Carilion has an internal medicine practice, an imaging center, a sleep lab and specialists, including cardiolog ists.
Bill Jacobsen , hospital administrator at Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital and vice president at Carilion Clinic, said it was a "no-brainer" to locate the offices at Westlake.
"It was the fastest growing area of our county, and we needed to respond to the needs of our citizens," he said.
Other medical offices have recognized the demand as well.
Physicians to Children, which has an office in Roanoke, last fall opened a satellite office at Westlake, and Vistar Eye Center opened an office at Westlake in May.
Solstas Lab Partners also has opened at Westlake, and Home Instead Senior Care is opening an office there this month.
Willard anticipates attracting more new businesses. He is trying to recruit a day care center to accommodate the center's 400 employees and nearby residents, and also is in talks with three restaurants, which he declined to name. The development had a hard time attracting restaurants when it was built because it was using well water and septic systems. Franklin County has since become a member of the Western Virginia Water Authority, which has extended water lines into the county, including at Westlake.
Martial arts studio moves
A martial arts studio is the latest business to open at the Shoppes at West Village in southwest Roanoke County.
Super Kicks moved from Spartan Square in Salem to West Village, off Electric Road, several weeks ago.
The shopping center's family-friendly atmosphere attracted studio owner John Bryant when his lease was ending in Salem, he said.
Bryant said he didn't like having his business in the same shopping center as a dollar store and a lease-to-own furniture business.
The businesses at West Village are "much more complementary" to his martial arts business, he said.
Bryant described his martial arts school as one that gives students life skills and helps with character development. He also offers leadership classes and is partnering with schools to give classes as part of students' physical education.
Super Kicks' new location is above Pino Gelato.
Also at West Village, Cafe Asia is opening a second restaurant where Baja Bistro closed in January. Cafe Asia, which opened at Kroger Square at Bonsack in 2008, will open the West Village location in August or September.
Read more about the move on food writer Lindsey Nair's Fridge Magnet blog at blogs.roanoke.com/fridgemagnet .
Antique store opens
A family-run antique store has opened on Williamson Road.
Trader Joe's Antiques and Collectibles opened its doors for business on Saturday.
The store is run by husband and wife Joe and Debbie Monzo, their daughter Nicole Sartorius and son Matthew Monzo.
The family was inspired to open the store after watching the television show "American Pickers." Joe and Debbie Monzo last summer began searching for items at estate sales, auctions and yard sales. They have been selling their items at a booth inside a store in Moneta. When they realized they had enough merchandise to open their own store, they leased a building on Williamson Road in Roanoke County near AMF Hilltop Lanes bowling alley.
They also are renting booths to other collectors, Sartorius said. Most of the 28, 10-by-10-foot booths have been rented, she said.
Joe and Debbie Monzo hope to pass the business down to their children, Sartorius said.
"This is their retirement plan," she said.
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