Development accelerates in Roanoke along Franklin Road

By  | 

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Charlie Hamill has served up six years of success with his food truck.

Soon the Rock & Roll Diner will also have a home base and dining room on Franklin Road.

"What I hope to do is to be able to start offering dinner entrees and specials and really get back to the art of cooking which I enjoy a lot," Hammill told us Monday afternoon.

Some businesses like Hair Mania have been on Franklin Road for decades, but the corridor is changing.

The Earth Fare grocery store is now under construction. Mellow Mushroom is serving up its premium pizzas. And Carilion Clinic now occupies the former Ukrops building.

"I think that's the big anchor there," said Wayne Bowers, Roanoke's Director of Economic Development.

"It's a very active institute of orthopaedics and neurosciences," Bowers said, "something that's attracted a lot of people to the area. I think that spurred the other development that we're seeing there. And I think that will continue into the future."

And Charlie Hamill says that's part of the reason he decided to locate there.

"So this is all of a sudden a newly renovated block," Hamill said, "and this is the third busiest intersection in Roanoke according to VDOT, so it's a great location."

The developer working on the Earth Fare store is also proposing another building on the property that would include a mix of uses.

Another parcel behind the Soccer Stop is also being graded for future development. We don't know yet what might go in there, but it's another indication that more projects are likely in the future.