HOLMBERG: RVA, the city that can’t shoot straight

Posted at 1:00 AM, May 28, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. - So here we go, another year drifting away bickering about another ballpark proposal.

Fighting, yelling, protesting.

Two sides not giving an inch.

And another classic aim-and-miss for the city can’t shoot straight.

Okay, so the last thing we really hunkered down and pulled the trigger on  – the Canal Walk -  hasn’t turned out so great.

Ditto for the Sixth Street Marketplace and Richmond Centre conventional hall – big visionary plans that missed the mark so badly, they were literally torn down.

This is the same erratic aiming that brought us the Arthur Ashe Jr. Recreation Center, which is basically useless for tennis and just about everything else.

We kind of shocked ourselves and whisked the Redskins training facility here, but we’re still whining about it, wishing it hadn’t happened.

Meanwhile cities like Charlotte and Wilmington and Charleston and San Antonio have found ways to take aim on a strong development plan,  hit the target and grow their cities in health and stature.

It’s like there are just too many people here with just too many reasons not to do anything.

Is it race? Is it class? Is it Virginia Commonwealth University bringing in so many idealistic students who must protest something?

Is it just bad leadership?

Mayor Dwight Jones has managed to build the first city schools in the last three decades. He’s managed to build a new city jail – something that has been desperately needed for that same 30 years.

Crime is back down to 1970s levels. Folks are moving back in the city in droves. The streets are alive again. Restaurants, even a 7-Eleven downtown! A Whole Foods is coming to mid-town, for crying out loud!

New construction, apartments, houses, condos. T-cranes!

There’s money and energy  and confidence here.

It’s high time we decide what Richmond is going to look like. Define it, take aim, and hit it.

Just drifting along is not taking aim.

Even if we’re really good at it.



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