Richmond taking public input on downtown redevelopment plan

Richmond

Richmond City Hall (Photo: 8News)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The City of Richmond is planning to redevelop the “City Center area” downtown stretching from E. Franklin Street to E. Leigh Street and from N. 10th to N. 5th Streets.

They have drafted a plan for the project and are now taking public comment on it through July 12. The drafted plan for this area will eventually be incorporated into the Richmond 300 plan.

According to the draft available online, the City of Richmond hopes to have City Center be a “high-quality place” with housing, numerous safe and accessible transportation options, grocery options, outdoor dining, more trees and new economic opportunities.

The city says the redevelopment of the space will prioritize the creation of new jobs, housing, access to parks and meeting the needs of low-income and marginalized communities.

Part of the plan is the demolition of the Richmond Coliseum. Richmond proposes using the repurposed area to complement the Convention Center and provide open space. The drafted plan also suggests the addition of a new fire station and doing away with a centralized Department of Social Services Building.

The City Center draft includes direction for creating more equitable transportation access. The redevelopment would include an expanded bicycle network as well as a safer experience for pedestrians.

Another goal listed in the drafted plan is establishing an innovation district by bringing more life science-focused companies into the area.

Housing in the area is not currently abundant, the drafted plan calls for new residential units with access to transportation and jobs in the City Center. The proposed housing would be mixed-income and provide purchase and rental options.

A meeting will be held on June 22 at 6 p.m. where city council member Ellen Robertson and the Department of Planning and Development Review will present the draft plan and answer questions about it.

Any local groups interested in speaking with the Department of Planning and Development about the plan can invite staff to their own meeting by emailing Richmond300@richmondgov.com or calling (804)646-6348.

Following the city engagement period, the plan will be amended based on community input and then presented to the City Planning Commission and City Council. The City Center plan will be worked into the city’s master plan, Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth.

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