Rezoning plans discussed to turn commercial buildings into residences in Blacksburg

New River Valley News

An advertising sign for building land stands in front of a new home construction site in Northbrook, Ill., Sunday, March 21, 2021. The red-hot U.S. housing market is widening the gap between what a home is objectively worth and what eager buyers are willing to pay for it. Fierce competition amid an ultra-low inventory of homes on the market is fueling bidding wars, prompting a growing share of would-be buyers to sweeten offers well above what sellers are asking. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Blacksburg residents gathered Tuesday night at the Municipal building on Main Street to discuss possible rezoning plans.

Developers with Midtown Redevelopment Partners LLC. submitted a request to turn commercial buildings into homes. In 2019, the rezoning plans were originally approved but then amended in 2020.

Ian Friend and Jim Cowan, developers with Midtown Municipal, want to transform the old Blacksburg Middle School into townhomes, condos, restaurants, and a hotel. The plan calls for 21 acres of land to fulfill its goal.

Some community members are against the idea of the rezoning plans because they fear the change could allow more college students to occupy the spaces.

“As you go down Preston avenue with a bunch of rentals close by, you have to call the police almost every weekend to counter rowdy drunkenness,” said one Blacksburg community member.

Both developers responded at the meeting on Tuesday, June 29, saying they have no control over who occupies the residential housing and that they abide by the Fair Housing Laws.

Blacksburg residents concluded that if the rezoning plan gets approved, they would want to see more innovative spaces for business owners.

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