NEWSBIZ- Valley view: Under the Roof expands west

The city of Waynesboro was looking for an anchor to transform the River City into a home-furnishings destination.

It seems to have found one.

"We were really waiting for a key player to come in to fill one of the big buildings downtown. We couldn't be happier with the folks who are coming," says Mike O'Donnell of Real Estate III, one of the partners in the city-led "Within These Walls" marketing campaign, talking about the pending arrival of Under the Roof on the Waynesboro business scene.

The store is slated to open in the former Heilig-Meyers building on West Main Street in the heart of the downtown business district on October 23, according to owners Deborah Henshaw and Jeffrey Grosfeld.

"Having the support of the community and the city government is important to us," Henshaw says. "It's also important that we can provide our existing customers in Waynesboro and Staunton and Harrisonburg a closer location."

Under the Roof currently operates in a single location in Charlottesville. The owners looked toward the Valley for store location number two in part because of their existing customer base in Western Virginia and in part because of simple logistics.

"What we're finding is that our Internet business is growing quite a bit," Grosfeld says, "and being in Waynesboro puts us in a great spot for shipping. Currently we're working out of three different warehouses in Charlottesville. We'll be able to consolidate a lot of those activities here in Waynesboro."

The store's location at the crossroads of 81 and 64 is also key for government and business leaders trying to promote the rebirth of downtown Waynesboro.

"Five years ago, city council made a commitment to the redevelopment and rehabilitation of our downtown business area," Mayor Tom Reynolds says. "In those past five years, we've become a Main Street community, and we've seen movement and activity in the downtown area through things such as Within These Walls.

"I grew up in this area with a bustling downtown teeming with activity every day," Reynolds adds, "and we're looking forward to that again. This is a big step in that direction."

Under the Roof sells modern furniture– soon in Waynesboro.