Club Meeting – May 14th, 2015
Our speaker today is the 43rd Mayor of the City of Roanoke. David Bowers noted with pride that our neighbor Roanoke has been named an All-America City a record six times. The Mayor brought us up to date with the latest projects, accomplishments, and the ongoing efforts to keep the City of Roanoke on the rise.
Mayor Bowers spoke about the diverse architecture of the downtown area from St. Andrews church gothic spires, the Tudor design of the Hotel Roanoke, The Tubman Museum of Art‘s modern lines to the iconic Roanoke Star shining above the city. The ongoing improvements to Roanoke’s downtown area Market District and adjoining blocks have been impressive.
The following are several of the topics highlighted by Mayor Bowers…
On the topic of economic development renovations to the the City Market Building and Center in the Square, Elmwood Park, and the new Taubman Museum of Art have created a re-vitalized downtown. In the not too distant future construction of a Hampton Inn and Suites will be completed atop the Market Garage. Not so many years ago only a hand full of people lived in the downtown area, today an estimated 1500 to 1800 are urban dwellers.
The creation of the Virginia Tech Carillon School of Medicine and Research Institute helps form the critical mass of a healthcare industry cluster of medical and healthcare related businesses and organizations. A real estate development project along the Roanoke River called The Bridges is planned near the VTC site.
Along I581 the construction of a new Valley View Mall interchange hopes to provide new development opportunities for that area of the city as envisioned by city planners in the Evans Spring Area Plan (at URL click on Evans Spring).
The Mayor also touched on the continuing downward trend of crime statistics and the increasing gains in high school graduations rates. In addition, passenger rail service could arrive as soon as 2017.
The Mayor Bowers offered members a glowing report on the “Star City of the South”.