RICHMOND (WRIC) - After a security guard was viciously attacked at the RVA Street Art Festival, the old GRTC bus depot has been closed ever since.
But organizers feel once the chains are lifted, these old buildings can become something like a community center, a farmers market or even just a place for entrepreneurs to get their ideas rolling.
Nearly a thousand supporters have already signed a petition to Mayor Dwight Jones asking that the city help "transform the GRTC bus depot into a campus for innovation for our creative class."
Local entrepreneur Larkin Garbee started the petition with one goal:
"Really kind of it being mostly community owned I think above all else," she says. "That it not be driven by a particular organization but truly a collaboration between different organizations."
Her idea is to see the old buildings turn into an arts and idea hub for Richmond and a place for startups to meet - something cities like Nashville and D.C. have done with similar areas.
Fellow petitioners agree, writing things like.
"Richmond is has an amazing potential as an incubator of creativity & innovation and this is exactly the type of thing that will help us realize that potential."
"This site has already transformed RVA, even as a temporary installation. The potential for it as a permanent thing is absolutely thrilling."
Some supporters are amazed how quickly the idea has spread.
"It's been great how it's gone out through different outlets and people have been very responsive to do something progressive for innovators," says entrepreneur Todd Nuckols.
Organizers hope the petition continues to grow so they can help make their ideas a reality.
"Getting 10,000 signatures. And then using that as leverage when we talk to the city in a more formal way."
Before any ideas move forward, the property has to be at least reopened to the public something that city officials and GRTC are still trying to figure out.
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