The Market Building Foundation has named Hall Associates as the rental agent for Roanoke's City Market Building and Managing Partner Roger Elkin says one of the primary changes it will initiate will be expanded hours for the building.
Elkin says the plan is to run the building like a profit-making venture instead of a hobby, as it has appeared to be run in recent years.
The Market Building, the anchor of downtown Roanoke's historic district, was closed more hours than it was open for as long as I can remember. It was not open at night or on Sunday and was a distinct impediment to commerce in the area. The renovated building will be better than it was (though not as good as it could have been) and will offer more activities.
Elkin says no vendors have been signed--or re-signed, in the case of those invited back with offers of thousands of dollars in setup fees--but that negotiations with the old-timers will be taking place early in the week. He wouldn't give a price range for rentals ("It depends on the space") but agreed prices would range between $12 and $15 per square foot, about average for the Market. The rental includes a lot more than the space because common seating and cleanup, among other things, are part of the price paid.
The plan is to have the Market Building "teeming with people throughout the day and evening; live musicians and art will be available on the mezzanine with a delicious mix of aromas and sounds filling the senses," says the press release. "The dramatically remodeled event space ... with a maximum capacity of 500 standing or 250 seated and featuring a state of the art audio visual system" will allow the building to be home for concerts, movie nights, lectures, weddings, receptions, dinners, expos, conferences and parties."
Hall will "be seeking additional restaurant and retail tenants" over the next few months, says Leasing Agent Jim Deyerle. Hall will have a staff that monitors "all facets of the Market Building through an on-site building manager assigned to oversee that both tenant relations and customer service are held to the highest standards."