The purpose of this petition is to support the building of an amphitheater at the Elmwood Park site in Roanoke, Virginia. If you believe that Elmwood Park is the best site for a new amphitheater I encourage you to take a couple minutes to sign this petition and forward it to any citizens you know who feel the same.
If you are undecided on the best site for an amphitheater or currently prefer the Riverside/former Victory Stadium site I encourage you to at least read the information provided below with an open mind and reconsider supporting Elmwood Park.
There are four primary reasons and amphitheater makes more sense in Elmwood Park.
1)Elmwood Park is a terrific natural setting in an urban environment, with views of our downtown and the surrounding mountains. It is a great place to show off two of our regions greatest assets, the Market and the Mountains.
2)An amphitheater in Elmwood Park creates more synergy downtown and will act as an economic driver that can help us retain and attract citizens, businesses, and merchants.
3)Elmwood Park is easily accessible from I-81 and 220 via I-581 making it easier for those coming from outside the area to find and access the amphitheater.
4)There is parking already in place within a reasonable walking distance which includes several downtown parking garages and surface lots.
Further reasons why Elmwood Park is a better location than the Reserve Avenue Riverside site.
- The Riverside site is in the flood plain and it is estimated that the cost to build an amphitheater at the site will be at least $4.6 million dollars more than at the Elwood Park location.
- City Council initiated and paid for a study using City tax dollars. The study evaluated both sites and recommended that Elmwood Park would be the best site to locate the amphitheater. It also recommended a capacity of about 5000 or less.
- The Elmwood Park location was also the preferred site recommended by the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., and many downtown merchants and Farmers Market vendors.
- If the amphitheater is going to be more than just a music/performance venue, if it is going to be an economic driver for the City then it needs to be within a walkable distance of compatible uses (i.e. restaurants, shops, museums and other cultural amenities, and nightspots). In addition studies on urban planning show most people are not willing to walk more than 5 to 10 minutes in a medium sized city and 2 to 4 minutes in a small town. Additional factors like attractions and amenities along the way, perceived safety and ease of the route, and the norms present in an area are also factors (www.mixedusecores.com). The Riverside site is approximately just under 2 miles from the Roanoke City Market meaning it would take the average person 45 minutes to an hour to walk from one to the other through an area that has few compatible attractions and that some might not perceive as easy or safe, especially after dark. That means most people will either have to get in their car and re-park if they are going to come downtown or they will simply head towards home in the surrounding areas. Therefore the purchases they might have made in a downtown store or the meal they might have eaten at a downtown restaurant will not happen. That is money that not only the merchant looses but tax money the City looses that could be used for other initiatives.
- The result of causing people to have to get back in their car or taking shuttle buses to and from downtown also has an environmental impact. With more citizens and governments focusing on energy efficiency, green design and sustainability, walkable compact urban centers are becoming increasingly important because they allow for less use of automobiles and make it easier to provide alternate forms of travel like walking, bicycling and public transit.
Thank you for your time and attention to this important issue. Let\'s make Roanoke a great place we can all be proud of and enjoy!
Roanoke City Resident
Commercial Real Estate
Studies in Business and Urban Planning
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