BY DAVID MCGEE | BRISTOL HERALD COURIER
BRISTOL, Va. — All announced tenants of The Falls are still planning to build and work on their sites is expected to begin soon, the developer said Tuesday.
Brent Roswall of Interstate Development told the Bristol Virginia City Council during its regular meeting that announced tenants Sheetz and Zaxby’s remain committed. To date, only the buildings of anchor tenants Cabela’s and Lowe’s are taking shape in the commercial center near Interstate 81’s Exit 5.
“I know you all haven’t seen any [other] construction. Rest assured, they are all still with us,” Roswall said of those tenants that were first announced in May 2013. “Some of them have come in for permits. They’ve all done their civil engineering plans, they’ve all done their building plans, Zaxby’s is already bid out. We should see construction start on the rest of the phase one tenants in the next 30-60 days.”
Assistant City Manager Andrew Trivette said the city is glad to address rumors about firms pulling out.
“I think things are going great. Interstate is doing a good job getting the rest of the phase one tenants closed,” Trivette said.
Anchor tenant Cabela’s is scheduled to open Oct. 1.
“I did have the opportunity last week to go into Cabela’s. They’ve got all the windows taped up so no one can see in. They want people to be surprised,” Roswall said. “They are fixturing right now, all the taxidermy has been installed and all I can say is wow. I think everyone is going to be very well pleased. I’m very excited for Oct. 1 so everyone can see what we’ve been working on now for three years.”
The Cabela’s building and parking lot are done and the Lowe’s structure is nearly complete.
“Lowe’s is on schedule. They’ll open shortly after Cabela’s and they’re making great progress. Vannoy Construction is doing a great job,” Roswall said.
The first businesses in the second phase could also be revealed later this year. On Tuesday, the council unanimously approved transferring two parcels at The Falls to the Industrial Development Authority. The IDA would then be responsible for transferring the land to the developer once plans are approved by the council and Planning Commission.
“Interstate is now transitioning into the role of developer from consultant, which they were on phase one. They are taking control of announcing tenants, securing construction financing and this marks the progression of our project to phase two,” Trivette said.
In other action, the council unanimously cleared the way for Erich Allen to place oversized mural signs on two sides of his building that face Moore Street and Cumberland Square Park. Allen is developing Studio Brew, a craft brewery, inside the former Bristol Fire Museum.
Under the plan, the business’ name is to appear in letters that are 8 feet tall and extend some 43 feet along the Moore Street side. It also includes a graphic and other wording.
Signage on the park side would be 6 feet by 27 feet. The variance from code was allowed because the structure lies within the city’s designated tourism zone, Trivette said.
Allen’s request must also be approved by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, since Allen is applying for historic tax credits.