The Roanoker - September/October 2014 - 32
Medical services and
medical research and
technology may be the
most important sector
in Roanoke's economy.
There are nearly
8,000 jobs at the
medical complex on
Jefferson. It will grow
and prosper, as will
The Bridges project.
Bern Ewert: "The goal is to restore housing
and buildings, keep neighborhood schools
and well-groomed parks."
CITY'S EVOLUTION II: IN POSITION
BERN EWERT, FORMER ROANOKE CITY MANAGER
Ewert is given the bulk of the credit for initiating Roanoke's most recent overhaul in
1979. He's back at it as part of the $100 million development, The Bridges, across the
street from Virginia Tech Carilion Research
"Roanoke has a bright future and has
32 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2014
turned the corner from its economic and
"Education will be a major component of
the next 40 years. Virginia Tech, community colleges, the Higher Education Center
and Roanoke's public schools will remain
strong and successful. The more talent we
can hoard, the better we will compete with
other countries. Foreign-born Americans
are 50 percent more likely to start a business than native born Americans,' according
to Jim Tankersley of the Washington Post.
More immigrants will come to the Roanoke
Valley and English-as-a-second-language
programs will expand and become more
"Medical services and medical research
and technology may be the most important
sector in Roanoke's economy. There are nearly 8,000 jobs at the Carilion/Virginia Tech
medical complex on Jefferson. It will grow
and prosper, as will The Bridges project.
"The Roanoke region has a large inventory of affordable, attractive housing. Preserving the city's historic housing stock
will be critical. Over 65 percent of Roanoke
City's housing was built prior to WWII.
Today there are 13 National Historic Districts protecting historic structures. There
was a day when city council and the Roanoke Regional Housing Authority wanted
to tear down large swaths of this housing
and buildings. [The goal now is to] restore
them, keep neighborhood schools and wellgroomed parks as part of neighborhood redevelopment. This single strategy will keep
Roanoke positioned to attract new business
and residents over the next 40 years."