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Businesses Near Taubman See Benefits

The Taubman’s unique design draws many people downtown.
The Taubman’s unique design draws many people downtown.

On Salem Avenue in Roanoke you’ll find an eclectic shop, specializing in one-of-a-kind gifts.  Across the street there is a gallery showcasing some of the most unique and dramatic art in Roanoke. Both these shops cater to a specific crowd. “Everyone had great expectations for when the [Taubman] museum opened,” said John Reburn, owner of Roanoke Valley Printworks.

One year ago, the buzz was the museum would bring heavier foot traffic to the once not-so-busy Salem Avenue.  It appears to have happened. “A lot of people come to my store and say they’ve never seen me and didn’t know of me before.  [Now] people find me,” Reburn said.

Along with the museum, the street itself received a facelift. “In just the year since the museum opened, we’ve got brand new sidewalks and new infrastructure like plumbing and electric and street lamps,” Reburn said. What used to be a tattoo parlor is now the Pamela Jean art gallery owned by Pam Floyd. “I had two choices of where to put my business and I knew the museum was going to relocate so I started looking at all buildings around it,” said Floyd.

Even in this tough economy, the business owners say they’re remaining optimistic.

“If we all can just hold on and stick together we’ll do fine. Because of the kinds of people that are younger and cool and interested in education and art and design, they’ve buoyed the business that wouldn’t be here. It’s good.”

(From media partner WSLS-10)

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