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Southwest Virginia

Retirement community sees a financial rebound by Joan Tupponce

ment community, has faced many obstacles in the past 11 years. It was scheduled to open in 2003, but a 100-year flood caused 18 months of construction delays. Potential residents that couldn’t wait moved elsewhere. “We were about


60 percent occupancy when we opened in 2005,” says Peter Robinson, vice presi- dent of marketing and public relations for LifeSpire of Virginia, formerly known as Virginia Baptist Homes. The Glebe is one of four LifeSpire continuing-care com- munities in Virginia. The next hurdle

was a court case. Botetourt sued Vir- ginia Baptist Homes to collect property


Appalachian Mountain Spirits is expanding its whiskey distillery in Smyth County, a $1.95 million project that is expected to create 13 jobs during the next three years. The company also has committed to buying 3 million pounds of Virginia-grown corn, barley and rye as part of an agreement with the com- monwealth. Gov. Terry McAuliffe has approved a $50,000 grant from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund to assist with the project, which Smyth County is matching with local funds. (VirginiaBusiness. com)

Nearly four months after announcing Roanoke as the loca- tion for its East Coast brewery, Deschutes executives are still holding to their opening date of 2021. But residents might gain a downtown tasting room well

Photos courtesy The Glebe

he Glebe, a Botetourt County retire-

Robinson taxes

on The Glebe. “They ques- tioned if The

Glebe was

truly a nonprofit,” says Robinson. “That was a huge setback. We were painted as not paying our fair share of taxes. That turned a lot of people off from considering The Glebe.”

In 2008, the Vir-

ginia Supreme Court ruled in favor of The Glebe, but the case was costly. Adding to the community’s financial stress, the housing market plummeted that year, preventing many potential residents from selling their homes.

In 2010 The

Glebe filed for Chap- ter 11 bankruptcy

before that, founder Gary Fish said during a news conference in August. Opening a tasting room will depend on finding the right location, however. And any Deschutes location opened downtown would serve beer brewed at the company’s brew- ery in Bend, Ore., Fish said. (The Roanoke Times)

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is expected to become a college within Vir- ginia Tech. The university’s board of visitors voted in August to begin a likely two-year process to make the Roanoke medical school its ninth college. The medical school was founded in 2008 as a partnership between Tech and Carilion Clinic, with an independent governing board. (The Roanoke Times)

Virginia Tech will spend $75 million to develop part of its innovation-focused curriculum,

protection. The move affected The Glebe’s ability to collect certain fees. Under its business model, the community charges residents entrance fees along with monthly service fees. Dur- ing the bankruptcy process, residents still were allowed to move in and pay monthly fees. “We just couldn’t take entrance fees,” Robinson says. During the next

two years, 48 house- holds moved into the community. When The Glebe emerged from bankruptcy in 2012, the stay on entrance fees was lifted. “We were expect- ing that 25 percent of that group of 48 might leave when they had to pay the entrance fee,” Rob- inson says. “But that didn’t happen.”

complete with new buildings, additional faculty and initiatives such as a caged drone facility near the school’s Duck Pond. The money will go toward provid- ing researchers, faculty and students with tools to develop autonomous vehicles, smart construction techniques, urban planning, drone research and other infrastructure technologies. (The Roanoke Times)

A 333-mile route with 60 attractions that celebrate Southwest Virginia’s cultural and musical heritage brings in about $9.2 million annually and supports 131 jobs in the region, according to a Virginia Tech study. The Crooked Road, founded in 2004, attracts visitors from outside the commonwealth to music events at venues in the region through its marketing and programming. ( He attributes

their loyalty to the community’s quality of life. “We make sure we are meeting our

Regional View

residents’ expecta- tions. Their satisfac- tion is one of the biggest things for us,” Robinson says. The community is about 94 percent occupied with 151 of 153 apartments sold and/or occupied. “The finances of The Glebe are very strong now,” Robinson says.


William Dixon has been hired as vice president of busi- ness banking, Freedom First Credit Union, Roanoke. He has nearly 30 years of

banking experience. (News release)

Brittany Madonna has joined the YMCA of Roanoke Valley as mar- keting and communications direc- tor, and Annie Nichols has been promoted to child care director for Y After School and Y Summer Camp. (The Roanoke Times)

Alison Matthies- sen has been named director of communications for the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medi-

cine, Roanoke. Matthiessen was VIRGINIA BUSINESS 17

Today, 151 of The Glebe’s 153 apartments are occupied.


Complete list of For the Record and People at

communications coordinator for the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at Virginia Tech. (News release)

Radford University has appointed Katherine “Kitty” McCarthy as the university’s vice president for enrollment management. McCarthy served as the vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at West Virginia State University in Institute, W.Va. (News release)

Debra Meade, retired president and publisher of The Roanoke Times, has been elected to the board of trustees of Hollins University. (The Roanoke Times)

Dr. Kenneth Walker, a Carilion Clinic physician based in Pearisburg, has been named to the state Board of Medicine. (The Roanoke Times)

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