Salem City Council clears path for mixed uses at former Valleydale plant

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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ7) Redevelopment of the old Valleydale plant in Salem is receiving more attention from City Council.

Monday night, members gave unanimous approval to a zoning adjustment that should clear the way for a mix of uses there.

"We are putting our shoulder to the plow," said developer Brent Cochran, one of the principals in Live Oak Partners. "We're doing everything we can to breathe some life back into that property."

Work is already under way at the former meat processing plant to prepare the property for new occupants.

Cochran said the developers are now in conversation with a light manufacturing company that would hopefully take over a large portion of the facility.

"We are hoping for the best, but we've done this long enough to be cautious, very cautiously optimistic that something will come to fruition there," Cochran told WDBJ7 in a phone call Monday afternoon.

Salem City Manager Kevin Boggess says the action council was considering will allow the developers to layer in multiple uses for that particular property.

"The Valleydale plant, heavy industrial, was a meat processing plant. Now we want to see it used in a different way," Boggess said. "And so having this zoning addition in there gives us lots more flexibility in terms of who can be recruited to that property."

Nothing is set in stone, but Cochran says if developers are able to strike a deal with the company they've been talking to, we might see an announcement early in 2018.