A devil’s deal saved the Day, but will haunt Roanoke until the city lives up to its end of the bargain. Reasonable people would argue the city already has.
In 2005, Roanoke’s then-city manager and then-director of the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority struck a terrible bargain born out of desperation with the owner of 17 houses along the 400 block of Day Avenue. The houses had been converted into 70 apartments and had turned the once stately block into the city’s cesspool; drug dealers and prostitutes freely and openly plied their trades. Police were called at least once every day.
Just eight years later, it’s hard to remember how bad it was. Those houses have been gutted, renovated and are now in the hands of families that lovingly tend their homes and lawns.