RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hundreds are expected to speak about the future of the property surrounding the Diamond on Wednesday after Mayor Levar Stoney and city officials dedicated the night to Arthur Ashe Boulevard.
Stakeholders and developers will meet to learn more and potentially start planning for the future. More than 60 acres of land in the area have gone untouched and some say the location couldn’t be better.
People have discussed developing the area for years but former Richmond City Council President Bill Pantele says the time is now. “I really think that finally, the time is right,” Pantele said. “This is a big deal.”
Pantele expects housing, stores, restaurants and perhaps even hotels to open up in the area within three years.
“This project on the boulevard, however it turns out being, could easily generate up to $10 million a year,” Pantele said. “So, when we’re looking for money to invest in schools, in social services, infrastructure, economic development is a great way to make that happen. So I know the city is anxious too.” Charlie Diradour opened businesses in the area like Starbucks and En Su Boca.
“It’s going well now,” Diradour said, “it’s only going to get better.”
He’s been advocating the area’s development for years.
“The money now is right. The interest is here,” Diradour told 8News. “You’re gonna have a lot of great opportunities over there for a lot of developers to get involved to get the deal done.”