Tuesday, May 3, 2011
City Market Building To Open Gradually; All Open Sept. 5
The Roanoke City Market Building will be ready to completely re-open Sept. 5 (Labor Day), according to the Market Building Foundation and Hall Associates, the building’s management firm. The building will be in use to a degree before then.
“We anticipate that many first floor vendors will already be in place and operating during the summer, while other spaces may be in various stages of development when we celebrate on Labor Day weekend,” says Foundation President, Doug Waters. "We are planning activities for the citizens of the Roanoke Valley and we want to invite everyone to participate.”
The general contractor is expected to complete the initial phase of renovation work by mid May. At that time the Roanoke Building Inspector’s office will complete the inspections needed to issue a certificate of occupancy. The Virginia Department of Health, the Roanoke Fire Department and Roanoke Planning Department will also need to verify that the building meets the required health, safety and historic preservation standards. Once the Certificate of Occupancy is issued, the individual vendors will bring in contactors to finish out their specific spaces.
While the reconstruction has been underway, Hall Associates has been negotiating with vendors who will operate businesses in the renovated space. “Each vendor will have their own specific needs and their space will need to be built out to accommodate their requirements,” says Elkin. He says that some improvements would obviously take longer than others, depending upon the scale of the project.
“A vendor who wants to sell candy in a retail setting, could be set up much more quickly than a restaurant operation which would need full kitchen space and other considerations,” he says. All venders being considered are locally owned and operated and will preserve the local character of the Market Building.
The building’s third floor, which will be named Charter Hall, is also undergoing a rebirth, and will soon be available for parties, receptions, live music, movies and other public functions.
The name Charter Hall is in recognition of the fact that the City of Roanoke’s first charter authorized a municipally owned market in 1884. The original market building burned and was replaced by the current building in 1922. The Market Building has always been the nucleus of what is known as the Roanoke City Market.
Charter Hall is equipped with a catering kitchen, state-of-the-art sound system and a retractable movie screen. Elkin says he expects that the Hall would be also completed and in use by early summer and that the room had already been booked for a number of meetings, weddings and other events.
Overall the look and feel of the City Market Building will be a bit different from the food court setting that dominated the space since 1985. Elkin says there will be a mix of retail and restaurant options along with some new twists. He says the building will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, until 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until mid-afternoon on Sunday.
“The two things we have heard time and again are that the public wants the Market Building to always have its strong, local roots and highly individual vendors, and they want the City Market to be accessible more hours every day,” says Waters.“Since our first Foundation meeting, we have always understood that this building belongs to the citizens of Roanoke and we have worked hard to make it a place that they will view with pride and joy."
(Story from press release; photo by Dan Smith)