SHERMAN P. LEA SR.
IN HIS 2016 STATE
OF THE CITY ADDRESS
The assets, including worldclass, cutt ing-edge health care, just appeal
to new talent, though. Those who are out of the
workforce are flocking here, too.
The city has been named best place to retire
in Virginia by The Wall Street Journal, while
nearby Blacksburg was one of 2016 best
places to retire. About 14 percent of the Roanoke
city population is age 65 or older, according to
the 2010 U.S. Census. Friendship, a
community in Roanoke that att racts residents
from across the country, offers amenities that
allow both for better care and independence.
provide our residents close access to
[health care] as their needs says Russ
Barksdale, president and CEO.
want to continue to evolve in order to meet the
rising needs for senior housing options in our
The Ripple Effect
Smaller cities and towns near Roanoke and in
the New River Valley mirror the city, both in
creative reuse of historic but underutilized
at Blacksburg, Pulaski and
also in taking advantage of
outdoor assets for marketing and economic
In Franklin County, an old hardware store
was refurbished into the Harvester Performance
Center, an intimate music venue that draws
national acts and has turned the town of Rocky
Mount into a cultural destination. Matt Hankins, Rocky assistant town manager
and Harvester CEO, says the venue has created
more than 65 direct and related jobs, with more
expected in 2017.
seeing businesses locating here
because of the extra activity spawned by the
Roanoke and Botetourt County have welcomed the craft beer industry, recently landing
both Deschutes Brewery of Bend, Oregon (which
will open in 2021), and Ballast Point Brewing
Company of San Diego, creating more than 280
jobs and $145 million in investment between
the two. Although each company had different
priorities, both found the Roanoke region to be
the right fit.
County] checked a lot of boxes
on our wish list involving infrastructure and
says Hilary Cocalis, vice president
of marketing at Ballast Point, which expects to
be making beer there by the end of summer.
more importantly, we found the community to be very welcoming to
A highly skilled
Just a few reasons why businesses
keep saying YES to Virginia.
Businesses Looking to Prosper Land in Virginia