By Debbie Adams
The final design of Vinyard Station from the Pollard Street view is beginning to be revealed. Developer Dale Wilkinson of the Wilkinson Group says that they have added all the steel support for the glass to be installed in the arch during the past week.
Once installed, the glass will expose the beautiful ceiling of bowstring trusses which the developers elected to preserve, making it visible from Pollard Street. Workers are now in the process of removing the block on top of the wall to install the glass.
With its location at the corner of Pollard Street and Washington Avenue at one of the gateways into downtown Vinton, each day thousands of passersby are able to watch the progress on the Vinyard Station project.
For over 77 years, the Vinton Motor Company served the automotive needs of the Roanoke Valley.
In 1931, during the height of the Great Depression, Bill Vinyard left his family farm to build his own business: the Vinton Motors Company. Originally on the northwest corner of Pollard Street and Washington Avenue, Vinton Motors became a cornerstone of the Vinton community. Fourteen years later, he moved his dealership across the street to its now iconic location.
In 1979, Billy Vinyard, Jr. took over his family’s business. Vinton Motors continued its success, selling up to 300 cars per year and earning Ford’s prestigious Blue Oval Status.
In 2008, during the height of the automotive industry crisis, Vinton Motors Company had to shut its doors and stood vacant for several years.
The Town of Vinton collaborated with the Vinyard family and the Wilkinson Group to bring new life into the classic structure with the Vinyard Station project. An agreement was signed in November 2019 and included Roanoke County and the Roanoke County Economic Development Authority. Unfortunately, Billy Vinyard passed away in September 2019 before renovations began.
Wilkinson and general contractor Greg Rhodes of Construction Unlimited Inc. say the project is moving right along on schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, with plans for opening this fall.
Jack Winston, who owns the Jersey Lily’s in Salem and Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse Grill on Orange Avenue will be opening a 5,000 square foot restaurant, Joe Goodpies, inside the area which was the repair shop section of the building, taking up about one third of the interior space.
Total private investment for the purchase and renovation of Vinyard Station is estimated at $2.7 million, creating nearly 12,000 square feet of move-in-ready leaseable space. Other tenants for the Pollard Street section of the project have yet to be announced.