Rumor: Heironimus Building Under Contract

Here’s the hottest, freshest rumor running on the Roanoke real estate mill at the moment: The long-vacant, overpriced, crucially-located Heironimus building in downtown Roanoke–the big building at the hub of downtown–is under contract. I have two extremely solid sources and another that is good.

I’m not sure how good “under contract” is in the long haul, but it seems to be pretty positive.

This building is and has been so important to the success of downtown Roanoke–for more than 100 years–that its long-time vacancy has been seen as a substantial detriment to development there. One Roanoke businessman suggested a couple of years that the building is so important that the city should declare eminent domain and sell it.

Heironimus is 75,000 square feet of retail space, sitting on Jefferson Street near Roanoke City Market and it was bought for $412,500 in 1997 by current owner Calvin Powers. It has pretty much been left to deteriorate in recent years, since The Emporium closed there.

Powers has had it up for sale at $5.5 million (according to various reports) for years with no takers and almost no interest. A Richmond-based developer with projects in downtown Roanoke once estimated that the asking price was 2/3 more than it should be. Renovation costs have been estimated at $10 million.

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