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Developer has plan for property hit by devastating fire

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 25 2013 06:58:14 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 25 2013 07:52:24 PM EDT

General Truck and Body burned to the ground last July. Now the property owner has filed a rezoning application that would clear the way for a new store on the site.

ROANOKE, Va. -

One year after fire destroyed a Roanoke business, there are new plans for the property.  A development plan filed with the city of Roanoke includes a proposed Dollar General Store on the former General Truck Body site.

According to a rezoning application, the property owner plans to clean up the parcel, demolish the structures that remain and clear the concrete pads and other debris.

The property has been vacant since last July, when an accidental fire caused $1.5 million of damage.  Now the plans filed with the city call for a retail business along 10th Street, and future residential construction on the rest of the property.

Neighbors we met, say they would welcome a Dollar General store or similar business.

Norma Jean Hargraves lives nearby. " I think it's wonderful," she told WDBJ7, "because it's right near me. I can leave out my door, go around and do a little bit of shopping."

Robert Mallory agreed. "As long as bad elements don't start hanging around the store or something like that, and they keep it clean," he said, "the whole neighborhood wouldn't mind."

The proposal is headed to the Planning Commission next month.
While it's hard to predict how members will vote, the project's prospects are good.  The rezoning would take the property from light industry to a less intensive use.