Update: Developer Ed Walker working on plans for old Valleydale plant
Real estate developer Ed Walker is one of the forces behind the purchase of the old Valleydale plant in Salem.
In a statement Thursday, Walker said the group of investors and developers are still figuring out what property could become. Walker said the project is still a puzzle but the group has high hopes for what it may become.
Today Ed Walker confirmed reports that a regional development team is working to redevelop the iconic former Valleydale plant in Salem. The development team is made up of community-focused professionals and investors from Salem, Roanoke, and outside the region as well.
The exact plans for the building are not known yet. It may be purely light industry or mixed-use. There is a clear bias to bring some new industrial employment opportunities to the building and to Salem, if possible.
The intention is to quickly stabilize the property and begin a comprehensive effort to design different desirable possible uses. At this time there is no plan to have residential space at Valleydale but that could change during the design process.
"By any measure Salem is clearly one of the very best small cities in the U.S. We are thrilled to have the unexpected opportunity to lend a hand in figuring out the Valleydale building's next positive role in this strong community."
"As with every project, we intend to be good stewards of the building, of its history, of this great company, of its former employees and good stewards for a bright future at Valleydale. I would love to see some mixed uses that included light industry that would create some new jobs and bring workers back to Valleydale. It won't be hot dogs, but hopefully there are some other light industrial uses that would work well."
"Salem is amazing in every way. Great citizens, schools, natural beauty, and a great Main Street downtown. Salem has terrific local government - both professionally and politically. Everybody wants to do everything they can to make Salem as strong and prosperous as possible. If we can be helpful in some small ways, we can think of no better place to be and to work."
"Let me be clear, we will be swinging for the fences with the Valleydale project. It's a tough puzzle to figure out, and we can't guarantee that we will be successful. But no team of people will try harder than the one that's recently come together".
The old Valleydale plant in Salem has been sold.
One of the former owners tells WDBJ7 the deal closed last week.
Late Tuesday, Salem City real estate officials told WDBJ7 the property sold for $1 million, but we don't know yet who bought the property, or what they plan to do with it.
The Valleydale plant closed in 2006, and a Salem spokesman says the city is looking forward to seeing what the new owner has in mind.