Roanoke City Center, a mixed-used development, is the vision of construction and development company Integrity Group. The project remains in the design phase and will eventually sprawl across South Oak Street with City Hall nestled at its heart.
One final tract remains to be finalized. Dubbed “The Ro,” the tract is situated on the west side of City Hall, between Oak Street and US 377, Integrity Group principal John Delin said.
“If we follow only the [city] ordinance, we can only get about 16,000 square feet of retail out of it. ... There’s just so many people coming down here, [the city] needs more parking,” Delin said. “And to take that one last [tract] and only have about 16,000 square feet in there, when you can really finish it off and make it look well, would ultimately be a disservice to the City Center project.”
One site plan proposes, instead, a two-story, 60,000-square-foot building that will offer office space on the second floor and restaurant options on the ground level. But it would need about 90 more parking spaces.
“What we’re trying to do is come up with a creative way to offset the number of spaces that we’re short and make them up in a different way,” he said.
That is where the valet system comes in, said Delin, who presented the idea to City Council at its Dec. 10 meeting.
Visitors would drop vehicles off at designated valet stations. Valet runners would then shuttle vehicles to park by the nearby soccer field on Roanoke Road.
Commercial tenants in the building would be responsible for paying for this service, so neither the city nor guests would bear the burden of the cost, Delin said during his presentation.
“It will be a mandatory service that goes with the building,” he said.
Technology would be incorporated to collect data and monitor curb activity, including web-based tracking, surveillance cameras, a ticketless system and web-based reporting.
City Council did not vote on this proposal, but members gave their input.
Council Member Angie Grimm expressed some reservations after Delin’s presentation. Meeting the city’s required number of parking spaces is a must, she said. There may also be a conflict when the city hosts an event that requires the parking spaces by the soccer field, she said.
There is an internal discussion about some long-term parking solutions—the details of which are still under wraps, City Manager Scott Campbell said.
Council Member Holly Gray-Moore asked Delin whether this concept could be expanded to Oak Street if it works.
That is a possibility, Delin said.
“You want people feeling good about coming down here because they can either get a parking space or they can drop their car off and know that they can just stay on the street and have some fun and be able to get their car wherever they want,” Delin said. “That’s the idea of this.”
McKinney also recently instituted a public valet service, he said.
The valet service is run by The Grand Hotel, Rick’s Chophouse and Harvest, according to previous reporting by Community Impact Newspaper. These businesses are also validating valet tickets. Drivers not visiting one of these businesses must pay $7 per vehicle.
Mayor Scooter Gierisch said staff and City Council will think on this proposal before making a decision.
“Before we say a fast ‘no,’ we may be saying a slow ‘yes,’” Gierisch said. “It’s just a matter of processing it all and understanding the entire logistics of it.”
A formal submission for the tract’s site plan is required before officials can vote on the proposal. A plan is expected to be submitted in January, according to meeting documents.