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The first building at Riverside Station will contain 150 apartments and cost $12 million.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The first building permit application is in for what developers say will be a $100 million, 20-year effort to erect a complex of apartments, offices, stores and restaurants across from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute.
The permit, which was filed Wednesday, includes 163 pages of plans for a $12 million, 150-unit apartment building on the site.
“It’s a start,” said Bill Rakes, one of the principals in Roanoke River Associates, the investment group that is developing the Riverside Station project. “There’s been a lot invested in this.”
City officials see the project as forging a strong connection between downtown Roanoke and the growing medical and research center to the south.
“This is the downtown-to-the-river link,” City Manager Chris Morrill said. “It’s a real milestone.”
Filing a building permit request, which kicks off an intensive review of the plans by the city’s building officials , is one of the last steps before shovels go into the ground.
Carilion Clinic owns the property but has signed a development deal with the group, a partnership that includes former city manager Bern Ewert.
Ewert has said the project would provide housing, recreation and services for the fast-growing health and education sectors that are thriving along Jefferson Street.
As part of the project, a new street will run from Jefferson to the river, Morrill said. The aim is to create an urban feel, with places where people can live, shop and work, that is easily connected to the rest of the city, he said.
The developers also are committed to restoring some of the historic buildings on the site, on the pattern of Richmond’s Rockett s Landing project, a 54-acre, mixed-use development on the James River, Morrill said. Richmond developer Jason Vickers-Smith, who is involved in that project, is also a partner in Roanoke River Associates.
Roanoke’s city council voted last July to authorize a $2 million grant and up to $8 million in future tax incentives to help the developers with environmental site remediation and the construction of streets, sidewalks, a public park and other amenities that eventually will be turned over to the city.
The development will be on former scrap yard and Cycle Systems properties.
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