RICHMOND (WRIC) - Mayor Jones announced Monday that he's moving baseball to the bottom. But what will happen to the boulevard if the squirrels make the move?
During his announcement, the mayor said very little about what the future holds for the Boulevard, but he did say he is excited about what changes could be in store for that area. And that's something some business owners along that corridor are looking forward to.
"My first reaction was disappointment... serious disappointment," says Buz and Neds owner Buz Grossberg. "Not so much because we're losing the ball team, but I think that their decision to put it in the bottom is not a good alternative."
Grossberg says he's been serving up his barbeque on the Boulevard since 1995, back when the Diamond was home to the braves. He says even when they left and the stadium sat empty, business was still good.
"Yes they were a good thing, but I believe we can overcome our loss."
He says he's heard talk of a shopping area replacing the old Diamond - something he thinks would be a boost to the businesses that already call the Boulevard home.
Longtime fan resident and local developer Charlie Diradour had originally been all for keeping baseball here, but now he thinks the new plan is a win-win for both Shockoe and the Boulevard.
"I wish I had heard something yesterday about the Boulevard but I understand its one step at a time," he says. "Whatever we put here has got to be architecturally cool and something people can get with. We don't need another short pump on the Boulevard."
"It's never going to change as being one of the main entries to the city. Think all the doomsday you want, but it's not going to happen."
There are still a lot of questions about both the Shockoe Bottom plan and the future of the Boulevard.
Mayor Jones said there will be plenty of time for public input on the boulevard issue. The Shockoe Bottom plan still has to be voted on by city council.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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