As a particularly fun example, perhaps in the not too distant future new renters in Vinton will have an opportunity to spend a vacation inside the town seal. There’s a plan in place to convert Gish Mill into a complex that will hold a restaurant, as well as space for a market and for rentable lodging, boosted by a $468,750 grant from the state’s Industrial Revitalization Fund.

“The mill was the center of commerce that got this town off the ground,” Town Manager Pete Peters noted last year when the IRF grant was awarded. The revamping of Gish Mill already had support from a Virginia Department of Historic Resources grant, which will help with stabilizing the ancient structure, and historic tax grants that will reduce renovation costs.

The project hints at the kind of possibilities being realized at the Roanoke Industrial Center inside the former American Viscose Corp. rayon factory in southeast Roanoke, home to dozens of small…

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