Monday, May 2, 2011

City Market Building soft opening in mid-August

Market Building sidewalks widen.

A soft opening in mid-August may not have all the spaces 100 percent full said Roger Elkin managing partner with Hall and Associates, Inc. There are a total of 30 spaces to lease.

At Monday morning’s council briefing Elkin said that “there is high demand for the food/restaurant spaces but retailers have been the biggest difficulty due to the economy.”

At the soft opening there may be three to five retail spaces unfilled. Tenants’ are responsible to complete build out of their spaces. Rent will run from $37.65 to $49.95 a square foot and is all-inclusive. There will be no extra common area maintenance or other fees.

The cost will depend on the location with the front corner location like that held by Tavern on the Market coming in at top dollar.

In comparison when the city leased the building the cost per square foot was inconsistent a month the tenants ranging from $33.45 to $51.66 not including common area maintenance.

Phil Davis, assistant manager for the Hotel Roanoke and Market Foundation member explained that the third floor space with stage will bare the name “Charter Hall.” It will have carpet inserts over the wooden dance floors for protection and noise mitigation.

Charter Hall will be open to the public and each business use “will be evaluated fairly,” said Davis. Capacity for Charter Hall is expected at 300 for seated events and 500 for standing events.

Base rental will be $125 to $150 an hour depending on the day of the week. There is a list of approved caterers for events who will have access to a prep kitchen.

Market Building Center

Aesthetically “they’ve tried to keep with the times, said Davis. It has been renovated with flexibility in mind and is applicable “for every possible social or political event that you could have in this town,” he said.

Eight groups have already committed to use Charter Hall said Elkin.

Some tenants are receiving classes to improve their business skills. The permitting process takes time and adds a level of complexity depending on the type of food served and equipment and storage requirements.

Out of 100 inquiries there has been 55 requests for applications with “22 of these have successfully passed the screening process …out of the 22 some will drop out naturally,” said Davis. They may not want to compete with other vendors or might pass for other business reasons.

Four of the previous market vendors are in the permitting process. Other vendors have contracted elsewhere. They will have solid well-vetted tenants that “meet the same requirements as their other buildings,” said Davis.

In 30 to 45 days as the permitting process completes the names of the tenants will be announced. The food vendors that have either not operated a restaurant before or not operated in a professional environment will take longer for Health Department approval.

Davis said they have proven the skeptics wrong who said they would not be able to lease the spaces. “Just the opposite has occurred,” he said.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Business, Politics, Roanoke City Politics

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