Reporter: David Tate
Roanoke, VA - The City of Roanoke is getting set to officially expand its downtown service district to include new development in the Riverside Park area.
It will be the first expansion of the Downtown Roanoke Service District since 2004.
The expansion comes with added taxes for about 70 properties. Roughly half belonging to Carilion Health System, an additional tax of $100 per $100,000 assessed property value will kick in for the 2013 tax year if this plan is approved.
In all, Roanoke's downtown would expand down Jefferson Avenue all the way down to the athletic fields surrounding the former site of Victory Stadium.
One big advantage for this expansion is marketing. Experts say being able to market something as "downtown" is a label that sells.
The estimated tax generated would be about $136,000 annually. The additional money will primarily be used for the Star Line Trolley that connects the historic downtown area with this proposed expansion.
"Uniting them in the same service district is just going to allow us to market the properties the same and allow all property owners to keep a seat at the table to talk about what's coming," said Sean Luther with Downtown Roanoke, Inc.
City council will hold a public hearing on this expansion and tax next Monday at 7 p.m. as part of the regular city council meeting.
If council decides to act in favor of the expansion, Roanoke's downtown will officially grow on July 1.