ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Goodwill on Melrose Avenue unveiled a new project on Tuesday morning that will address food insecurity and help boost the area’s quality of life.

Goodwill Industries of the Valleys is partnering with the City of Roanoke and public and non-profit partners to further develop the Melrose Plaza in Northwest Roanoke. Tuesday morning city officials, residents, and community partners spoke about what it took to get here and what the center will do for the community.

Goodwill officials say the project will be driven by the needs of the community, recognize the community’s rich history, and honor the traditions of past generations. The new center will have a market, which officials say is the anchor of the initiative. It will be a full-service grocery store and will provide access to healthy/fresh foods, and a nutrition education. There will also be a free public school that will provide adults with opportunity to earn their high school diploma. The Excel Center will also offer other resources including no cost childcare and transportation support.

“In some magnificent ways one it’s going to really help this community begin to have the access to healthy and fresh foods that it’s really going to help them reduce some health disparities that they’ve experienced over the last thirty to forty years” said Richmond Vincent, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys.

Additionally, Vincent says that the sooner they get this operational the sooner they can serve the community.

Within the new plaza there will also be a wellness center and banking services provided. The location is also accessible with three distinct bus routes located within a quarter mile radius as well as bike lanes.

Officials say the project aims to be completed by the end of 2024. The Melrose Branch Library will stay as part of the new center.