RICHMOND, Va. – Construction work began on the century-old Main Street Station in September 2014, with an intention to transform the train shed into a multi-transportation location that could host event venues, and retail spaces.
On Friday, city leaders took the media inside the landmark.
Leaders hope to reestablish the 1901 building as a transportation hub. Future upgrades to the station will integrate bus, trolley, airport shuttle, and taxi and limousine services.
The station is set to reopen in 2017.
“The walls will be in place, the space will be ready to go,” said Project Development Manager Jeannie Welliver. “High speed rail build out here, if this is selected, would require additional improvements.”
Retailers haven’t been signed, yet.
Project Development Manager Jeannie Welliver said they have to first give a presentation to city council.
“Just like Union Station it's flexible, it grows, it morphs, it changes,” Welliver said. “One year it's heavier retail and ten years later it's not.”
This isn’t the only project happening in the area, demolition also began last year to renovate the 17th Street Farmers Market next door. But that construction hasn’t even begun.
Some business owners asked us off camera what is causing the delay, as initial reports had indicated the city wanted it completed before the international UCI Road World Championship bike races that came to town in Sept. 2015.
“We went to UDC [Urban Design Committee] and we went to planning commission and there were some additional requirements that those entities wanted,” Welliver explained, “cleanliness, trash, program, parking.”
Shockoe Bottom business owner Tamica Epps has watched the construction of the Main Street Station from her restaurant for months.
“We’re excited about what's happening down here,” Epps said.