The Riverside Center for Research and Technology is a 23-acre portion of the South Jefferson Redevelopment Area. The center is located west of Jefferson Street, north of Reserve Avenue, and south of the Norfolk Southern south yard. The area is being transformed from an underused industrial corridor to a vibrant technology park.
Projects completed or underway include:
Carilion Biomedical Institute (complete)
Carilion Clinic (complete)
Virginia Tech/Carilion School of Medicine (complete)
Parking Deck (complete)
Cambria Suites Hotel (complete)
Future projects include:
three additional institutional/office buildings
an additional hotel
Reuse & Investment
The reuse of this blighted area was made possible by the creation of the South Jefferson Redevelopment Area in 2001. The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority began land assembly and environmental evaluations on the property in 2002 with the majority of the land sold to Carilion in 2006. In 2006, Carilion began construction on its projects and also sold the western portion of the property to a 3rd-party to develop the hotel and restaurant facilities.
To date, the initial $20,000,000 investment of City funds, through the Housing Authority has leveraged over $200,000,000 in private investment. The investment will boost Roanoke's economy by creating jobs and providing increased tax revenue for future projects.
The site has evolved significantly since its original development in the early 1900's. It was initially developed as a locomotive maintenance and service facility for the Virginian Railway.
The Virginian Railway's purpose was to transport coal from the mines in West Virginia to the ports in Hampton Roads. In 1959, the Virginian Railway Company merged with the Norfolk and Western Railroad (N & W) and the N & W did not need the then existing locomotive service and fueling facilities on the site.
As time progressed, much of the rail making up the locomotive facility was removed and the roundhouse demolished. A few tracks remained until 2004 to allow rail access to various industrial uses on the site including a concrete plant. Moore's Lumber Company operated a store on the site in the 1980s. When Moore's closed, the building remained vacant for several years before Carilion used it as an IT center which housed company servers. On the west end of the site, Pitzer Moving and Transfer Company operated warehousing and equipment servicing areas until the late 1990s.
In mid-2004, demolition started on the site after which construction began on the Riverside Center.