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Old storage facility along Roanoke River gets new life as apartments

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Leasing is under way for apartments in the River House project in Roanoke. By summer work should be complete on a $15 million renovation that is converting a five-story cold storage facility into a 128-apartment complex in the historic Wasena neighborhood. 

One side of what was the former Ice House offers views of the Roanoke River and the Roanoke Greenway while on the other side apartments look out over houses and industrial warehouses in Wasena, a neighborhood placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places last year. Just off U.S. Route 221, it is minutes from downtown, two major parks and the Carilion medical complex.

Rents will range from $500 for a studio to $1,320 for a two-bedroom apartment. The project also includes 12,000 square feet for commercial use on the first floor along with additional space for retail and offices. The developer is Ed Walker, a former Wasena resident, whose development company is behind other major projects in Roanoke, including the Patrick Henry Hotel and the Cotton Mill Lofts.  Walker purchased the 146,000-square-foot brick building at 806 Wasena Ave. in 2004 with plans to turn it into apartments.


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