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New River Valley

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I didn't see a thread dedicated to this area, so I thought I'd start one. I'm sure there's plenty going on in the NRV...so let's hear it!

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Technically, the proposed NS intermodal yard is in the NRV, since its in Montgomery county. I remember hearing about some development going on near Blacksburg, but what I'm really interested in is the Smart Road. When will it be extended all the way to I81? The smart road bridge over the Ellet Valley is the highest in Virginia.

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Roanoke-NRV metro will happen sooner or later, areas are so close and share so many economic factors. Lynchburg is too different and too far away, I think, to ever get included in that group.

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I don't think Lynchburg and Roanoke are so different or far apart that they will never be in the same MSA.

Lynchburg and Roanoke are already a shared radio and television market. The county between the cities, Bedford, is the fastest growing county in the western half of the state, and is much more developable than the rugged mountainous terrain separating Roanoke from the New River Valley. In driving miles, downtown Lynchburg is about 55 miles from downtown Roanoke, while Blacksburg is 42 miles. Lynchburg is 13 miles farther away, but the terrain is much flatter making it theoretically more accessible. The two cities are only 43 miles apart as the crow flies. The main obstacle slowing the driving time between the two cities is the stretch of stoplights on 460 from the Bonsack Wal-mart to 581 in Roanoke. A limited access road (revamped 460 or a new road) could easily cut the driving time to 45 minutes or slightly less between the downtowns.

Granted, the smart road will eventually cut 10 minutes or so off the driving time between Roanoke and Blacksburg. But the majority of land between the two areas will remain undeveloped forestland. The area separating Roanoke and Lynchburg will eventually be mostly developed.

Right now, Bedford County and city have a combined population of between 72,000 and 75,000. Estimates vary. By 2010 that will probably increase to between 77,000 and 86,000 depending on whether growth stays high like it did through the 90s. By 2020 the combined population could be between 90,000 and 112,000, closer to the higher number if rate of growth stays high. Keep in mind, these growth rates are assuming that Roanoke

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I live in Roanoke and work most of my days in a Lynchburg office, but at least a day or so a week I'm in the NRV. It is MUCH faster to get to downtown Blacksburg than downtown Lynchburg. In the mornings, it takes me a good hour and fifteen - hour and twenty minutes to get to downtown Lynchburg.

You make very valid points that Bedford is growing very fast, but so are Franklin and Montgomery counties.

Plus, one of the key things in combining MSAs is linking economies and daily travel between the two. The NRV and Roanoke's economies are linked in numerous ways and the Elliston intermodal facility will only strengthen those ties. Roanoke and Lynchburg's economies are totally separate and I don't see anything that will ever tie them together, except possible Smith Mountain Lake, which isn't strong enough to tie the areas together.

Winston-Salem and Greensboro are much closer than Roanoke and Lynchburg and their economies are closer linked, but they're separate MSAs.

From working in both and living in Roanoke, I just don't see the connection there w/ Roanoke and Lynchburg. I see a lot of Lynchburg residents coming to Roanoke for things, but I don't think it goes the other way.

On the other hand, I think a lot of people from Roanoke to go to the NRV for work and play, mainly because of Virginia Tech.

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Anybody know of any new stores coming to NRV Mall?

Dick's Sporting Goods just opened 10 days ago. And the Red Robin is kind of new. I've never been to the NRV mall, so I'm probably not the most qualified person to discuss it.

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I live in Roanoke and work most of my days in a Lynchburg office, but at least a day or so a week I'm in the NRV. It is MUCH faster to get to downtown Blacksburg than downtown Lynchburg. In the mornings, it takes me a good hour and fifteen - hour and twenty minutes to get to downtown Lynchburg.

Yes its faster to get to Blacksburg than to Lynchburg, but that gap could be closed significantly.

There are two main differences between traveling from Roanoke to Blacksburg or to Lynchburg. The route to Blacksburg is almost all interstate with a 65 speed limit, has very few stoplights, but the terrain is very mountainous. The route to Lynchburg is all on highway with 55 mph or less speed limits and many stoplights in Roanoke city, and county, just east of Bedford and just west of the 460 bypass in Lynchburg, but the terrain is more flat. I would argue that it is much more concievable to improve the driving time to Lynchburg through road improvements than to remove the mountains separating Blacksburg from Roanoke.

Yes it takes longer to get to Lynchburg, mainly because of clogged slower arterial roads with stoplights.. as opposed to Interstate highway/bypass road the entire way to Blacksburg. There are about 10 stoplights between downtown and 220 at the Bonsack Walmart. During morning rush hour, Traffic gets extremely backed up on that stretch of road. It has taken me a half hour just to get from Bonsack to 581 during rush hour. Its less than 6 miles! Imagine if a roads like 581/81 ran straight from downtown Roanoke to Lynchburg. You could make your morning commute to downtown Lynchburg in 45 minutes. One other factor to consider is that there is a state proposal to have passenger Rail service from Bristol to Richmond and Bristol to DC. Both routes would stop in Roanoke and Lynchburg, with only 1 stop, Bedford, between them. That would probably increase the ease of travel between the two cities somewhat.

Greensboro and Winston Salem are in a combined MSA with High Point, at least on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Website I looked at.

I agree that there is a much better case now for combining the NRV with the Roanoke MSA. What I am saying is that eventually, I think the case for Lynchburg could be equally as strong. I don't think that it is an impossibility. If it doesn't happen, Bedford county needs to be split in half so that its western half is in Roanoke's, not Lynchburg's MSA. Right now, Lynchburg's MSA stretches all the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway just east of Vinton. Something will have to change eventually.

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http://www.census.gov/population/estimates...neral/List1.txt

Winston-Salem is in its own MSA

Greensboro-High Point is a separate MSA

You make some valid points, and if the road were better between Roanoke and Lynchburg it would cut down on the time, but I don't know if we'll ever see a limit access road between Roanoke and Lynchburg.

Once they finish the Smart Road, it'll cut even more time off the Roanoke-Blacksburg commute.

Again, I just don't see the economics that would lead to Roanoke and Lynchburg ever coming together as one MSA. There'd have to be a huge influx of jobs in Lynchburg that makes people go from Roanoke to Lynchburg on a daily basis.

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Anybody know of any new stores coming to NRV Mall?
It's being expanded and renovated, but I haven't been in ages.

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Another way in which the NRV and Roanoke are linked; hotels. When ever a big game comes to Lane Stadium, all the Roanoke hotel rooms get booked up. I imagine that a higher percentage of those that stay in Roanoke are fans of the away team. My friend had a conference in Roanoke today and her company counldn't find a single hotel room in Roanoke last night. They ended up staying in Christiansburg of all places (not sure why there were rooms left at that hotel). I'll bet the majority of those staying in Roanoke Hotel rooms last night were avid Clemson or VA Tech fans.

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anybody know of anything about the new lifestyle center coming to Blacksburg?

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I wonder how the Smart Bus is doing?
Quite well, I've heard. Ridership is up, and it looks like they're going to keep it up and running in the near future at least.

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anybody know of anything about the new lifestyle center coming to Blacksburg?
Details are sketchy at best. I haven't heard anything that suggests the project is moving forward, though I haven't herd it was cancelled either.

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Quite well, I've heard. Ridership is up, and it looks like they're going to keep it up and running in the near future at least.

Thanks, hopefully so, its great to have this service.

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I drove by the other day and they had put signs up on the property.
Okay, maybe we'll have a lifestylke center soon then...

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Fairmount Properties is under contract to develop a 40-acre parcel in a mixed-use lifestyle development with 225,000 square feet of retail space including an exciting mix of national, regional and local home stores and specialty shops, 160 rental units and 10 acres of upscale for sale residential housing that will include a ten-screen stadium seat All Star Cinema, a bookstore, four restaurants and a hotel.

Site Plan

I also came across this

The Legends of Blacksburg

I personally don't like the architecture.

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I also came across this

The Legends of Blacksburg

I personally don't like the architecture.

Apparently they took your criticism to heart and decided to take the website down while they redesign the buildings. :lol:

The Fairmount Properties location looks cool though. So this is the lifestyle center you mentioned a few months ago.

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Haha my bad, here is the correct link.

The Legends of Blacksburg

As for the Lifestyle Center, I see it includes a Books-a-Million, Fresh Market and another movie Theater. I am kind of curious if another 10 screen movie theater is going to work since they are finishing up a 14 screen theater at NRV Mall. Also the plans call for condos, apartments and a hotel in the mix, but when looking at the plan I don't see them listed anywhere. I can understand the possibility of the condos/apts above the shops, but I highly doubt they are putting a hotel above the shops as well, even though it would be a great way to mix uses.

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Wow, as someone thats not a big football fan, I find the Legends of Blacksburg quite funny. While the interior renderings looked cool, the odd exterior facade, with the stainless steel or glass sheet partially obscuring the columns behind. Also the prices looked a bit more Alexandria than Blacksburg, with 1 bedroom, 800 sf condos starting at 370,000 and 3 bedroom, 1600 sf going for 555,000! I think I'd rather get a 6 bedroom mini-mansion in South Roanoke for that kind of money. Maybe all these people are going to rent out their condos on game days to make some big bucks.

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the lifestyle center looks cool, but if I could change one thing, I would change the diagonal parking to parallel along the main corridors between the shops. I just feel like the added space and traffic will detract from the walkability of the place. With parallel parking it would be more like the Champs Elysees.

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