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Program helps Richmond businesses expand outdoor dining with parklets

Posted at 1:15 PM, Jun 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-19 13:18:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Venture Richmond is partnering with the City of Richmond to help businesses expand their outdoor space with parklets.

Parklets are outdoor patio and community spaces constructed in the on-street parking lane of the street in front of a business.

It's an area where cutsomers can eat outside in a socially-distanced environment.

The new program, Picnic in a Parklet, is designed to assist Richmond restaurants and other businesses through the reopening phases. Business owners can receive design and permitting assistance for their requests for more outdoor space, particularly parklets.

“Transforming our use of public space innovatively and sustainably requires partnerships just like this one,” said Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney. “By linking the business and design communities, this program will expand the city’s growing network of creatively designed public spaces.”

Venture Richmond says they will work with the American Institute of Architects Richmond Chapter (AIA Richmond) to connect businesses with a certified architect for pro-bono parklet design services.

Venture Richmond will assist the applicant through the steps needed to obtain a permit from the City of Richmond.

“Parklets have the potential to offer an attractive, comfortable space for customers to physically-distance adjacent to the business, which may be needed for a smoother reopening. We look forward to working with any business in the city that submits a request.” said Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Riverfront and Downtown Placemaking for Venture Richmond.

Business-owners who are interested in temporarily converting on-street parking into a parklet is asked to contact Venture Richmond to better assess their needs.

Requests for parklets can be submitted through the RVA Strong website.