Goodwill Industries of the Valleys holds groundbreaking for Melrose Plaza

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 8:46 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A transformational project will soon be taking shape in northwest Roanoke.

Tuesday morning, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys held a groundbreaking ceremony for Melrose Plaza, which will restore commercial activity and community services to the neighborhood.

Representatives of Goodwill and its many partners donned hardhats, and grabbed golden shovels for the ceremony and celebration.

“Today, we celebrate the Melrose Plaza project, a life-changing initiative that will have a profound impact on our city,” said Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea.

A major renovation of Goodwill’s existing headquarters, Melrose Plaza will include a full-service grocery store, a bank branch, wellness center and free, public high school for adults.

Matt Churchill is Goodwill Industries of the Valleys Board Chair.

“This is about inclusivity. This is about bringing people together. This is about providing equity to people, and providing opportunity to people,” he told the audience.

Richmond Vincent is Goodwill Industries of the Valleys CEO.

“We all need to be vested into this, because the success here in northwest is a success for the entire city,” he said.

Napoleon Bailey is Goodwill’s Director of Operations, and a native of northwest Roanoke. He said he is confident Melrose Plaza will help to revitalize the neighborhood and provide new opportunities for the young people who grow up there.

“We lost our son to gun violence last year and for this to be here and give the youth something else to look for you know education, jobs,” he said as he stood with his wife Aisha. “When the store opens there will be jobs here.”

The Rev. William Lee urged the community to take ownership of the project and build a lasting presence for those who will follow.

“I would like for them, generations after I’m gone to come down to the grocery store to hang out down here, because it still exists, because we’ve invested in it.”

Renovations are starting in the next couple of weeks And we’re told the Market on Melrose could be open by next fall, with the rest of project to follow in early 2025.