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Gilbert Place construction continues toward 2023 retail, restaurants | Education | roanoke.com – Roanoke Times

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The Virginia Tech Foundation’s Gilbert Street project is nearing completion.
Construction of a $100 million, six-story building in downtown Blacksburg is on schedule for Virginia Tech to occupy by late fall, with shopping and dining features expected to open next year, according to university officials.
The 250,000-square-foot, multi-use building on Gilbert Street will include educational and other student uses, plus retail and restaurant options for the larger community, topped off by a sixth-floor rooftop terrace restaurant, Virginia Tech previously announced.
It is the tallest building in downtown.
For now, a 124-space underground parking garage beneath the structure is open to vehicle traffic.
As for which retail and restaurant storefronts will be moving in to the first and sixth floors of Gilbert Place, negotiations are active and in progress among the Virginia Tech Foundation and potential tenants, according to an email from university spokesman Mark Owczarski.
“It would be premature to make any announcements,” Owczarski said in the email.
Two floors of the new building will be dedicated office space for the Virginia Tech Department of Computer Science, the email said. Other departments will also make use of Gilbert Place.
Owczarski said the computer science portions of Gilbert Place are key to the university’s “tech talent pipeline.“ The pipeline aims to feed the upcoming Virginia Tech Innovation Campus in Northern Virginia with graduate students in high-demand technology fields like computer science and computer engineering.
“The Gilbert Place project will provide the home for [computer science] to place into that pipeline students with undergraduate degrees,” Owczarski said. “Put another way, the growth here connects to the Innovation Campus to the north, and represents the pipeline coming together towards a key state goal that influenced Amazon’s decision to come here.”
Construction is likewise underway on an 11-story Innovation Campus building set to open in 2024, according to a Virginia Tech webpage. Both efforts are guided by the Virginia Tech Foundation, a nonprofit corporation set up to financially support the public university.
Further, Owczarski said Gilbert Place will house a counseling center for students, as part of the university’s efforts to improve mental health support.
“The timing of that could not be better,” he said.
Catherine Potter of the university foundation is scheduled to give updates on the Gilbert Place project at a meeting of Main Street Connect on Tuesday. The meeting is set for 8 a.m. at Next Door Bake Shop on Turner Street.
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Luke Weir covers higher education and state government. He can be reached at (540) 566-8917 or luke.weir@roanoke.com
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The Virginia Tech Foundation’s Gilbert Street project is nearing completion.
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