Roanoke, VA – On Monday, Oct. 9, officials from Roanoke’s Department of Planning, Building & Development will meet in an open public forum with residents, business owners, and other stakeholders in the city’s Melrose-Orange Target Area (MOTA) to showcase a neighborhood development concept plan created by the Emerging Leaders in Architecture (ELA), a group of young professional architects and architectural students from across the Commonwealth The meeting is open to the public and will be held at the Goodwill Campus on Melrose Avenue beginning at 6 p.m.
The Melrose-Orange Target Area is an area that the city has chosen to funnel a significant portion of its annual entitlement funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These funds have been used to develop affordable single-family housing for low to moderate income residents, rehabilitate existing owner-occupied housing, eliminate blighting influences, address infrastructure needs, and other activities to improve the area. The city has been working with ELA since March and has listened to residents and interested parties to gather ideas for MOTA.
Designed to develop future leaders in the field of architecture, the ELA program encompasses a series of seminars for the students, along with a class project. For the second time in four years, the ELA has chosen Roanoke as its focus. In 2013, the ELA helped develop a neighborhood revitalization plan for the city’s West End neighborhood which ultimately led to a significant storm drainage and streetscape improvements to 13th Street SW.
“The city has been working with ELA for over a year to identify potential places in MOTA of significant impact, incorporating ideas from residents and city leaders to develop a ‘tool kit’ of suggested projects that could be implemented over time using Community Development Block Grants from HUD,” said Katharine Gray, a planner for the City of Roanoke. “Our intent is to improve connectivity for residents and to create a community identity,” Gray said. The meeting on Oct. 9 will be an opportunity to discuss these concepts with residents and other stakeholders. The ELA proposed ideas generally concentrate on Melrose Ave from 21st Street to 25th Street, and incorporates some of the comments received to date from the community and city staff.
For further information, please contact Keith Holland, Community Resources Administrator at 853-6404 or email him at [email protected].