Local Business and Economic Development
PREVIOUS: A new craft brewer is coming to downtown Roanoke. Golden Cactus Brewing plans to open at 5th Street and Rorer Avenue within the next few weeks. The operators of the Benny’s pizzerias and the Milk Parlor in Blacksburg also own Golden Cactus Brewing. Tickle says they will coordinate their offerings somewhat with Big Lick Brewing Company, right around the corner on Salem Avenue. Employee Randall Tickle on what beer-lovers might find there:
The Downtown Sidewalk Sale returns to Roanoke on Saturday from 10 to 5, with 24 retailers participating – and many offering special “deals” as well. To limit large congregation points Market Street will not be closed for the Sidewalk Sale this year; instead businesses will set up tables inside or right outside their stores, with sale items on display. Jamie Clark is with Downtown Roanoke Incorporated:
Former Roanoke Mayor David Bowers — now running again for the office — says the city squandered a major economic opportunity when it turned away a proposal to develop land across I-581 from Valley View Mall. A Charlotte developer proposed a large mixed-use development at what is known as Evans Spring, promising 1,000 permanent jobs and millions of dollars in new tax revenue for the city. But Pavilion Development withdrew the proposal earlier this year after encountering pushback from city planning staff, which cited neighbors’ concerns. Bowers promises that if elected, he will restart the process the next day, and unlike the urban redevelopment of several decades ago, this is economic development that the northwest community can share in. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:
Officials at Roanoke’s airport say the COVID pandemic gave them an unexpected opportunity to bring about something they have sought for years — airfares more in line with nearby airports. When the pandemic dramatically dropped passenger counts, Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport lowered rental fees for the airlines serving ROA. But Spokesperson Brad Boettcher says they insisted on something from the airlines in return: lower airfares. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:
Kroger Mid-Atlantic will relocate its division office from Roanoke to Richmond by the end of 2020. Kroger says the move will establish division operations in a location that is “better equipped and positioned to serve and support all markets.” Kroger also says about 100 associates will have options through the transition to Richmond. Its Roanoke district leadership team will remain here.
ROANOKE, Va. (August 4, 2020) – Today, Kroger Mid-Atlantic announced plans to relocate its division office from Roanoke to Richmond by the end of 2020. The move will establish division operations in a location that is better equipped and positioned to serve and support all markets throughout Kroger Mid-Atlantic. Additionally, recent growth for the division has been centered on the Richmond and Hampton Roads regions as those areas have seen significant increases in population over the years, creating greater demand for grocery stores.
Kroger Mid-Atlantic has created a number of opportunities to ensure that its approximately 100 associates have options through this transition. The company’s warehouse operations, logistics and its Roanoke district leadership team will remain in the region. “As we prepare for this next chapter in our division, we want our associates and communities to know that we’re committed to a safe, seamless and positive transition,” said Paula Ginnett, president of Kroger Mid-Atlantic. “This is not a goodbye to Roanoke because we will remain committed to the region and we will continue to support our associates, customers and community partners throughout the area.”
Kroger opened its first store in the Roanoke Valley 91 years ago and currently operates 11 stores in the region. The relocation will have no impact on stores, pharmacies or fuel centers in the Roanoke area. The Kroger Mid-Atlantic division office is located at 3631 Peters Creek Road in Roanoke. The Richmond division office will be located in Glen Allen at 140 East Shore Drive. Kroger Mid-Atlantic plans to have its Richmond office in full operation by the start of 2021.
Air traffic at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport remains well below the numbers of one year ago, but airport officials say there is some long-term reason for optimism amid the downturn. About 13,500 passengers flew into or out of ROA in June, and that is close to an 80% drop from June of last year. Airport Spokesperson Brad Boettcher says airlines serving Roanoke have cut back passenger capacity here by more than 50%, but the only non-stop route that has been dropped is to New York City. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones: