Roanoke City Market
Winner of the 2007 Virginia Downtown Development Association’s 23rd annual Award of Excellence in the population of 50,000 or above category.
Situated in the southwestern part of Virginia, the City of Roanoke is nestled in the Roanoke Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Virginia Alleghany Highlands. Located midway between New York City and Atlanta on Interstate 81, Roanoke serves as the hub for all activity in that part of the state and for the surrounding Roanoke Valley. The City Market District is considered to be the social and geographic focal point of the City, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. The City hired DPZ, in conjunction with SFCS, a local firm, to create a new plan to revitalize the District.
The planning team held a series of intensive design workshops to develop a plan with City Market building tenants, downtown business owners, Farmers’ Market vendors, real estate professionals, and the general public. While over fifty ideas resulted from the workshops, the planning team concluded with six principle planning strategies, outlined as follows:
- Move the food court seating to the building’s perimeter to allow diners to see and be seen from the street, i.e., turn the City Market building inside-out.
- Move the market stalls to the center of Market Street to invigorate the streetscape and increase space for vendors and shoppers.
- Add French Quarter style balconies along the second story of the Market Building and Center in the Square for outdoor dining and performances.
- Add architectural details to the Century Station Parking Garage façade. Rearrange the current parking configuration to add a main floor retail space and add four stories of residential units.
- Construct an inviting staircase adjoining the downtown end of the existing pedestrian bridge to create a European style entrance into the Market District.
- Develop a merchandising plan to share with prospective retail tenants.
Other proposals included returning the streetcar to Jefferson Street, restoring at grade crossing to the rail line on Jefferson Street, constructing a special intimate arts enclave in Kirk Alley, and streetscape improvements including lighting, signage, banners, and paving. Further residential development will also reinvigorate the Market area and support additional retail and services.