Trains to Brains: Exploring Roanoke's South Jefferson Redevelopment Area

APA Virginia Chapter


Monday, July 17, 2017
1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT

CM | 2.50

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 Roanoke’s South Jefferson Redevelopment Area was conceived as a cutting edge bio medical research park for the area’s nonprofit healthcare provider (Carilion) when the South Jefferson Redevelopment Plan was adopted by City Council in 2001. However, thanks to tremendous public/private partnerships and a development team out of Richmond, the district has exceeded expectations and continues to grow. The creation of Virginia Tech Carilion (VTC) in 2007 led to a new medical school, and subsequent mixed use development of “The Bridges.”

By way of Roanoke’s public trolley bus, this tour provides an overview of how Roanoke City planners and officials partnered with the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority and leveraged the redevelopment plan and EPA brownfield funds to transform this blighted railroad era industrial area into a vibrant, thriving new neighborhood. The tour also highlights the new economy of the City and the groundbreaking work of VTC, which includes brain research.  The tour concludes at Starr Hill brewery where you’ll see firsthand the energy of this new neighborhood and medical school.


Michael J. Friedlander

Confirmed Speaker

Michael J. Friedlander, Ph.D. is the Founding Executive Director of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute. Friedlander’s research program is directed at understanding the processes that regulate alterations in synaptic efficiency between neurons within the cerebral cortex—synaptic plasticity—and how these cellular processes are affected during brain ... Read More

Beverly Fitzpatrick

Confirmed Speaker


Ronald Leftwich, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Wayne Leftwich, AICP is the Senior City Planner at the City of Roanoke, VA where he is responsible for long range planning initiatives, the City’s Brownfield program, and staff support for the City’s Architectural Review Board and Planning Commission. He is currently working on the City’s Downtown ... Read More

John Gusler, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Frederick Gusler, AICP Frederick is Director of Redevelopment and Revitalization for the Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority where he works on improving the City’s public housing developments and serving as the liaison to the City of Roanoke on redevelopment projects. Prior to his current role, he was Senior Planner ... Read More

Ian Shaw, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Ian Shaw has worked for the City of Roanoke since 2006 and has served as Senior Planner, Zoning Administrator and Planning Administrator. He has a degree in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and worked as a private-sector consultant for 15 years on a wide range of civil and environmental engineering ... Read More

Contact Info

Eldon James,