Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The News Corner

It looks like we're finally going to move the FRONT into that marvelous space at 28 Kirk Ave. in downtown Roanoke next week and I can't wait. It's the news heartbeat of the city, if my recent experiences tell me anything.

Take today. I was down there watching the painters and waiting for the cable company to connect some stuff when I ran into Evie Slone, a planner with Hill Studio and the former planner for Roanoke. We chatted a bit about the upcoming Valley Business FRONT story on the Roanoke Valley Preservation Foundation, which she helped found, and she said her mama operated a beauty salon in our new space during the 1950s. I took her on a tour of the totally re-worked building and she was still on the verge of tears as she searched for landmarks. It must have been unrecognizable to her, but you could see that she felt the presence of her mom.

On the way to my scooter, I ran into Bill Elliot of Davis H. Elliot, which is situated in the suite above our offices, and he was talking to David Hill (Hill Studio) about his plans for the Campbell Mart/Woolworth's building across the street. Bill says he hopes to turn it into apartments or condos and maybe put a parking garage on the ground floor "if the city will go along with it." Even if that's a "no" from the city, something's going to happen and here is where it will happen: on the street in front of 28 Kirk Ave.

This is probably a story that will wind up on our pages, as have four pieces I've picked up just hanging out here so far--and that's two issues and me visiting occasionally instead of sitting in my street level, picture window office where people will feel free to drop in and chat.

It's already the best place in town for a news conference--whether you want one or not.

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