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STEPHANIE KLEIN-DAVIS | The Roanoke Times
The newly renovated Center in the Square building features a rooftop deck with a restaurant space, a koi pond still being lined, the skylight for the butterfly exhibit, and a glass railed staircase to an upper deck with a view of downtown Roanoke.]]
Sunday, September 8, 2013
For residents, business owners and visitors alike, Downtown Roanoke offers an experience that communicates the vision and values of the region, incorporating a rich history of growth, industry and innovation into the cityscape. Downtown Roanoke’s ongoing success is the result of Roanoke’s ambitious residents and leaders who, together, have created a vision for downtown that developers, private investors, businesses and community leaders have worked to implement.
The importance of Roanoke’s downtown was never lost on the region’s residents and leaders. In the 1970s, when major changes were taking place in the way people work, live and play, residents worked with business, government and community leaders to reimagine and revitalize their downtown, resulting in Roanoke’s first downtown plan: Design79.
This novel plan inspired subsequent plans — the most recent being Outlook Roanoke (1997) and Outlook Roanoke Update (2002) — all of which have identified major priorities and proposed big ideas that today breathe new life into the downtown area. These plans included (among many items) Center in the Square, the use of historic buildings for downtown residences, and improvements to Elmwood Park, the City Market Building and Market Street.
It is clear that Downtown Roanoke has experienced great progress and change over the past 30 years — and the time has come again to imagine the future of downtown Roanoke.
For example: What’s next for downtown Roanoke now that it has more than 1,300 residents breathing life into every block? Can downtown’s relationship to nearby neighborhoods be strengthened? How? Will downtown build on its prominence as the preferred location for working, living and playing?
What should the image and experience of downtown — as the symbol of our region — communicate to our family, friends and those who visit?
These are just a few of the possible questions that we can answer in the next phase of Downtown Roanoke’s continuous evolution. The official Downtown Plan is being developed and starts with an opportunity to present ideas at three public meetings:
n Sept. 11 at Charter Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
n Sept. 25 at Charter Hall from 6 to 7 p.m.
n Oct. 17 at the Virginia Museum of Transportation from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Join us in building the vision of downtown Roanoke’s future. Come to these meetings, like us on Facebook and be part of the plan.
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