Vacant buildings have been demolished and the debris cleared.
Since early this year, work has been ongoing at the site of the second phase of the Ivy Market development as the site’s owner, Valley Bank, is preparing the land to sell to a developer.
Next up is the building of a stone retaining wall near the northern end of the site, next to the Pure gas station on Franklin Road. The bank is spending $39,000 to build the wall, according to a building permit filed in Roanoke.
Valley Bank president and CEO Ellis Gutshall said that the bank is still talking with several developers, but a deal hasn’t been struck.
“We’re still very much in conversations with a number of people,” he said. “Nothing yet that we can actually report.”
The first phase of the site, built in 2006 and 2007, included the Walgreens at the corner of Wonju Street and the building that housed the Richmond-based grocery store Ukrops. The grocery store closed in 2009, and the property went into foreclosure. Valley Bank bought Ivy Market and the adjoining 5 acres.
The bank is looking for a developer that would bring retailers and finish the second phase of the project.
Late last year it appeared that Whole Foods was interested in the old Ukrops’ building, but Gutshall has since said that the organic grocery store decided against opening a store there.
In other Ivy Market news, city council voted this week to restructure the 15-year performance agreement for the development.
The following is from a story reporter Mason Adams wrote about Monday’s city council meeting.
As before, the agreement is still based on tax revenues, which means the city won’t lose a dime if Valley Bank can’t attract a tenant for the Ukrop’s space or a developer to build out the additional acreage to the north included in the project’s second phase. Instead, the city will return half of the tax revenue — including real estate, property, sales and meals taxes — back to the developer the following fiscal year in the form of a grant.
The agreement was also tweaked to allow for retailers that already operate in the city to move to the property, though there are provisions to ensure that any performance grant money is paid only on an increase in revenue from established stores.
Valley Bank President and CEO Ellis Gutshall said the changes to the agreement should help move along progress at the property.