RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Could downtown Richmond become the metropolis the mayor is dreaming of? On Thursday, Mayor Levar Stoney announced a $1.5 billion plan to redevelop a big portion of the area.
Negotiations between the mayor’s administration and the developer are complete but the plan still needs to be approved by the Richmond City Council. While some have come out to support the proposal, not everyone is on board yet.
“It’s being sold as the motherhood and apple pie but some of the numbers seem grossly exaggerated so I’d like to dig in and see how they arrived at those figures,” Kim Gray, the 2nd District councilwoman, said.
When asked whether or not the council and the mayor are capable of reaching an agreement, Gray was non-committal.
“It all depends on where the mayor and the administration sit with it,” Councilwoman Gray told 8News. “He has not been, to date, very open to negotiation. It’s usually an all or nothing with this mayor, that’s his style.”
One Richmonder, who didn’t wish to show her face on camera, spoke with 8News about her mixed feelings on the topic.
“It will be good for Richmond in the sense that it will definitely liven the place up, maybe make it more of a tourist attraction,” she said. “Those are good things for a city but I’m really concerned about the people living here already.”
She said she’s worried the development would gentrify Richmond’s Downtown neighborhoods.
“I think he’s looking to make it a tourist attraction and I think that will negatively impact the people here,” the woman said of Mayor Stoney.