The River House project in Roanoke is complete

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The rehabilitation of The River House project in Roanoke’s historic Wasena District is complete. Commonwealth Architects in Richmond – the architect on the project – said the 144,000-square-foot building that formally served as the site for Roanoke Ice and Cold Storage has been transformed into a contemporary mix of apartments and commercial spaces.

Built between 1924 and 1926 along the Roanoke River, the building illustrates the historic industrial development of Roanoke that was closely associated with the railroad.  The renovation converted the five-story brick building into 128 apartments. Directly adjacent to both the Roanoke River and the Roanoke Greenway, the apartments offer river views. 

In addition to the residential units, the building also is home to the Wasena City Tap Room and Grill and the River Rock, an indoor rock-climbing gym that opened in March.

According to Commonwealth Architects, the property’s exposed concrete floors, walls and industrial style windows were incorporated into the design. All remaining original windows and doors were refurbished and reused, and all existing interior walls and floors were left exposed to evoke the original character of the space.

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the owners plan to apply for state and federal historic investment tax credits. The developer was Ed Walker of River House Landlord LLC, who has done several renovation projects in downtown Roanoke including the Kirk Avenue Music Hall and the former Patrick Henry Hotel.


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