ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) On Thursday night in Roanoke County, dozens of people were on hand to get the first glimpse of the Reimagine 419 project.
It's been eight months in the making: a plan to improve road conditions and add more than 1,000 residential and retail spaces over the next 20 years.
In front of a standing room only crowd at South County Library, the North Carolina-based consulting firm, Stantec, laid out its draft of the 419 Town Center Plan.
"The market is here to drive this kind of change over the next five years certainly. The market is here now," David Dixon, of Stantec, said.
The plan is centered around three catalyst projects: Madison Square, Old Country Plaza and Tanglewood Mall, something Route 419 hasn't seen before.
"It's all the same kind of office buildings, it's all the same kind of everything. This is a better idea," resident Vali Mohler said.
Over a five-year plan, Madison Square could see nearly 150 residential units and more than 20,000 square feet of retail space. Old Country Plaza would add 230 residential units and another 28,000 square feet of retail. Tanglewood Mall could see 120 residential units, 179,500 square feet of retail, and a 12 screen movie theater.
"Prioritizing those implementation strategies then moving on from there and trying to see where we can fit those in, in the next 5, 10, 15 years," Deputy Director of Planning Roanoke County Philip Thompson said.
With new development comes more traffic, which is a concern for many.
"I still worry about the volume of transportation going through," Mohler said.
The plan presented would create more cross access between businesses along 419 which wouldn't require getting back on Electric Road, bike paths, and green space. Something the community desperately wanted.
"The walkability, the bicycle lane, that's nice. That's very nice," Mohler said.
The next step for Reimagine 419 is a planning commission public hearing on May 2. If you'd like to see the full 66-page draft plan for yourself, click here.