RICHMOND, Va. -- Open green spaces, equitable transportation options, mixed-income residential properties and more are all outlined in the City of Richmond's draft plan for an area downtown known as City Center.
City Center is the area from E. Franklin Street to E. Leigh Street and from N. 10th to N. 5th streets that includes the Richmond Coliseum and Richmond City Hall.
The previous plan to re-imagine this area -- the $1.5 billion Navy Hill project -- was rejected by Richmond City Council in 2020.
The new plan to re-imagine City Center revolves around redeveloping vacant and under-utilized parcels that are predominantly city-owned, according to city officials. They also hope to build strong connections to the adjacent neighborhoods of Jackson Ward, Monroe Ward, Gilpin, and Shockoe.
Parks, outdoor seating, hotels, entertainment venues, inclusive housing, and a festival streetscape with protected bike paths are put of a draft plan released by the city. That plan stated the purpose was to add "high-quality places" along with equitable transportation to reach those places in the hopes of attracting residents, students, and tourists alike.
The city also wants to inspire developers to venture into the area and diversify the economy.
The redevelopment design would organize the area into clusters -- keeping multi-use spaces, hotels, and municipal buildings together.
The largest, and perhaps the most dynamic, of the features would be a plaza-style, multi-use public space on E. Clay Street that could be used for events such as outdoor movie nights, group yoga classes, an ice rink in the winter, art festivals, concerts and more.
The draft plan also proposes mixed-use housing that would be affordable to people earning at or below 60% area median income (AMI).
There would also be an emphasis on minority business enterprise participation and workforce development throughout the process.
It's taken a year for the Department of Planning and Development Review (PDR) to develop the draft plan based on public workshops, surveys and focus group interviews. It was formerly called the Coliseum Framework Plan.
Now, it's time for residents to give their feedback before they move into the next phases.
Public comment on the draft plan is open now through July 12. Here's how you can do that:
- You click this link to view the full draft plan and leave your comments.
- You can attend a virtual meeting hosted by PDR and Councilwoman Ellen Robertson on June 22 at 6 p.m. to listen to a presentation on the draft plan, ask questions and provide your input.
- You can invite PDR staff to a meeting of your interested group or organization to share more about the draft plan. Email Richmond300@richmondgov.com or call 804-646-6348 to request a meeting.