Rendering of the welcome gallery at the proposed Smith Mountain Lake Center. Courtesy of the center.

The Smith Mountain Lake Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing a multi-purpose venue for entertainment and other functions to the region, announced today it will not be located in its planned location — the former Grand Home Furnishings Building at Westlake Corner in Franklin County.

Vicki Gardner. Courtesy of Smith Mountain Lake Center.

“Just a week after releasing interior renderings of how we would have renovated and used the space, we were informed the building has been sold,” said Vicki Gardner, president of the SML Center’s Board of Directors in a statement. “Obviously, we’re disappointed but we always knew this was a possibility because the building was being actively marketed. We had made great strides but just weren’t able to raise the funds quickly enough to purchase it.”

In August, she said her group had raised 70% of the funds required, but did not give a dollar amount.

Gardner said the 40,000-square-foot building will become the third location for Rock Outdoors. The North Carolina-based sporting goods retailer sells apparel and gear for fishing, camping, hiking, paddle sports, water sports and other outdoor recreation.

Gardner said the 12-member board will meet in the upcoming months to regroup and explore different ways the project can move forward. She reiterated that those who made contributions for the express purpose of purchasing the Grand building can opt to have their donation refunded.

“We’ll be reaching out to each and every person who donated to our ‘Grand Plan’ campaign to thank them and explain the process for returning their contribution if that is their wish,” she said.