What Now? After striking down Navy Hill, councilmembers mull city’s future

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s redevelopment project, Navy Hill, is no more after city council struck it down Monday night in a 5-4 vote. But it may not be the end of the road for the project.

Following months of debate among those for and against the Navy Hill Project, some council members are using Monday’s vote to re-introduce a new proposal that would help reinvigorate downtown Richmond.

Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch

“I’m extremely excited to get to work,” said councilmember Stephanie Lynch. “Work with our administration, our mayor, our community members, our stakeholders to get something back on the table.”

RELATED: Navy Hill ads to stop after Monday’s City Council vote

Councilmen Mike Jones is less enthusiastic, however.

Councilmen Mike Jones

“It’s a mix of disappointment, frustration, sadness. And for one thing: jobs,” Jones said after the Navy Hill project was dissolved. “People in the 9th district, people in the southside, we need jobs. You want to cut down on crime, you want to cut down on crime, you want to cut down on all of these issues? 26 percent poverty rate.”

So what happens now?

RELATED: City Council votes to dump Navy Hill project

Councilwoman Lynch, one of five who voted to kill the Navy Hill project in its current form, told 8News Richmond deserves a deal that will ensure a better “return on investment.”

“The quickest time frame so we can get money back into our budget so we can get money back into our schools, roads and basic city services,” she said.

But Jones isn’t as optimistic.

“I hope people are being genuine in their request to start over,” he said. “Richmond has this Richmond way, right? We don’t want it here, or it’s got to be this way. The reality is this: to get the amount of private investment that we have in in this deal, it’s unheard of. It just doesn’t happen every single day.”

Prior to Monday night’s vote, VCU said if Navy Hill were to happen, the university would have invested in a big redevelopment project with doctor’s offices and more. Officials told 8News with the project now dead, that move is unlikely.

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