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The building that was once in line to become a community gathering place in Roanoke is now set to be sold, ending a long-empty existence for what was briefly known as the Poole-Fisher Community Center.
The Roanoke City Council agreed Monday to sell the building on Price Street for $185,000 to Dr. Nipa Parikh, who is a dentist currently practicing in Anniston.
For a long time the building was known as the home to Dr. Chester Primm’s local family medical practice, and it was purchased by the city after Primm retired. In 2019 the city began a $75,000 renovation project on the building in order to turn it into a community center. The aim was for the building to be a free place for citizens to gather for activities like ping pong, basketball and other games.
That vision never fully materialized after limited occupancy capacity restricted the number of people who were allowed to gather there. The project also lost significant momentum when late former Roanoke mayor Mike Fisher was not re-elected and former city clerk Pat Truitt was replaced by the new administration after the 2020 election.
The building has been sparsely used since the renovation, and the upkeep of the building was seen as an unnecessary drain on the city’s budget.
The council agreed to put the building up for sale in July of 2022 and finally found a suitable buyer in Dr. Parikh earlier this year.
District 3 council seat
Two attendees at Monday’s city council meeting addressed the council and expressed interest in being appointed to the open District 3 seat that remains empty after the resignation of former council member Tommy Rushton.
Mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks said that other people had expressed interest in the seat and asked that anyone else who would like to be considered for appointment call city hall to submit information about their qualifications for the seat.
Anyone who contacts city hall will be given the opportunity to address the council at the November 6 council meeting regarding their possible appointment.
‘Ridiculous’ bids for PD
Also at Monday’s meeting the council rejected both bids that were received for the renovation of the new Roanoke police headquarters on Main Street. One bid was for over $900,000 and the other was for more than $1.2 million. Patterson-Hicks recommended that the council reject both bids, calling them “ridiculous” for being too pricy. The council unanimously agreed.
The mayor said that the city will re-work some of the specifications for the renovation so that they can get the cost within a more reasonable price range.
Cocina Real alcohol license
Folks who like to enjoy a margarita with their tacos will be happy to learn that the council unanimously agreed to approve the alcohol license application for the Cocina Real Mexican restaurant on Main Street in Roanoke. The restaurant has been open since the summer but has not been serving alcohol.
Glocks for sale
The Roanoke Police Department is in the process of replacing all of the service firearms for its officers. As part of that the process the council agreed Monday to declare 21 Glock 22 pistols as surplus property so that they can be sold. The pistols will be put up for bids. Only those with a federal firearms license will qualify to bid on the guns.