ExxonMobil plans to redevelop Ancarrow’s Landing

The proposed plan aims to be completed by the end of 2014.

According to a release from the office of the Mayor’s Press Secretary, ExxonMobil will submit “remediation and improvement” plans for  Ancarrow’s Landing.

Here are the proposed improvements ExxonMobil is planning to complete by the end of 2014:

  • Expanded parking areas for additional cars, trucks, and boat trailers
  • Reuse of the George Washington canal stones that are currently stockpiled and unused
  • Placement and use of tree islands, boulders, and signage to enhance and define the parking areas
  • Increased lighting with the installation of up to eight solar light fixtures based on the increased size of parking to improve safety and visibility within the parking lot
  • Enhancement and extension of the access trails from parking areas to the beginning of the historic Richmond Slave Trail.

The press release also states that ExxonMobil voluntarily agreed to clean up the existing site. The area was once home to a fertilizer plant, which contaminated the soil over the span of several decades. While the existing area is said to be safe currently, the redevelopment will include the removal of a large amount soil, to the tune of some 5,000 cubic yards.

According to Richmondoutside.com, Ancarrow’s Landing is an often overlooked part of the James River Park Association:

It is a functional boat landing in the tidal waters of the James, popular with fisherman and motor boaters. The acreage is largely dedicated to parking. The small series of trails in the park are mostly made my fishermen looking for the right spot to cast their lines…Ancarrow’s is a popular fishing area, especially in the spring. There is a wooded trail that connects the park to Floodwall Walk, which is part of the Richmond Slave Trail. Great Shiplock Park, Chapel Island and the Intermediate Terminal are in view across the river.

As you can see, this issue is the last item on the list for the Urban Design Committee’s meeting this morning at 10:00 AM. The Richmond City Planning Commission will take the proposal under consideration during their own meeting on May 19th.

Photo courtesy of: Richmondoutside.com

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Eric Steigleder

Eric Steigleder is a freelance writer, political junkie, coffee-addict and proud Globehopper regular.

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Stu on said:

    “The press release also states that ExxonMobil voluntarily agreed to clean up the existing site.”

    And what does kind, benevolent ExxonMobil get for this gift.

    Is a thank you card going to be enough, or is there money changing hands?

  2. Jeremy on said:

    Maybe they are getting a tax write off in the form of a charitable donation? Take your corporate greed philosophy somewhere else.

  3. Lee on said:

    A tax writeoff does, in fact, have value. Of course, a tax credit is even better, but in either case, all the better still if they can overstate the value, either legally or without getting caught. Just saying.

    Greed isn’t the only motive available, but damn it’s a good one. And there’s nothing wrong with being honest about it.

  4. Lee on said:

    Oh, but I imagine in this case the motivation is to avoid a court ordered remediation. Presumably, they are doing more than enough to clean up the area, but at a cost less than that of a court ordered remediation and/or damages.

    (Which would also be greed, indirectly. But as long as the park is fixed up…)

  5. All opinions about Exxon’s motivation aside, I think it’s great that it will enhance that area and increase safety.
    It is a forgotten area shadowed by the waste water treatment facility with an immense history. Newton Ancarrow was a radical activist for the river clean up back when industry and the city dumped chemicals and sewage into the river in toxic amounts. He built his boats in that dry dock area next to the boat ramp. The city was finally so annoyed by him they condemned his property and seized it.
    My wife’s car was broken into there in broad day light on a busy Saturday.
    Bring it on. Make our city and access to the mighty James River better….

  6. Paul Hammond on said:

    I guess this is what you call looking a gift horse in the mouth.

  7. Richard r on said:

    I’m with Paul on this one, good for Exxon, good for the City!

  8. Stu on said:

    Why not question?
    Everything always goes back to the money.
    Is E/M getting relief for a cleanup they would have to legally do anyway?
    Tax credits for a cleanup they are required to do because of pollution from a long forgotten plant that they are responsible for?
    The answer is NEVER that they did it out of the kindness of their hearts.
    Just sayin.

  9. Jeremy on said:

    Whether to build goodwill or more directly, for a tax credit, it is usually about the money. So what? If it benefits the company and the city, who cares? If additional remediation is required, liability remains intacts. I take issue with your assertion that this is some sort of back door deal to the detriment of the citizens. There are a group of people in this city who assume that every action taken by City Council or the Mayor is some conspiracy to advance corporate coffers and undermine the interests of the citizens. It’s the same argument being deployed against the stadium in the bottom. Isn’t it more likely than not that the transaction is mutually beneficial for both the citizens and the company. Democratic involvement is healthy. Constant pessimism and conspiracy theories, on the other hand, do nothing to advance the discussion.

  10. Scott Burger on said:

    I have not complained about this deal…yet. I don’t know all the details. Part of me thinks its great to see the area better utilized, but certainly I am wondering with a lot of other citizens what the catch is. Exxon has not exactly been a great environmental steward, and its one of the largest corporations on Earth.

    If you want to know why there is this level of distrust, it is exactly because of things like the flawed Shockoe stadium deal. And it is not just ‘a group of people’. There are longtime City residents as well as high school students who are fed up with corporate groups pushing deals down our throats to the distress of pubic interests. And its not just locally, its all over the world. Again, I am not necessarily saying this Exxon deal is bad, but there are very good reasons for distrust and scrutiny.

  11. JWard on said:

    What is the point of the lights? JRPS closes at dark. I’m racking my brain but can’t think of amy lighted trail or lot in the park system, except on Belle Isle directly beneath the Lee Bridge.

  12. Scott Burger on said:

    Reading the Times Dispatch article on this. It is encouraging that the state DEQ has some oversight.
    “The environmental remediation, which is being done through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality’s Voluntary Remediation Program, will involve the removal of contaminated soil at depths of up to 2 feet and the removal of an old concrete tank.
    The material will be sent off-site to a DEQ-approved landfill.
    Tax incentives are available for some voluntary remediation projects, according to a DEQ spokesman, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the Ancarrow’s Landing project would qualify.”

  13. joe n on said:

    jward –

    i am guessing the lights are going to be in the parking area, which is frequently used by boaters and fishermen, particularly during the spring shad and striper runs (march-may). although the park may close at dusk, there is often a line of boats waiting to get out of the water near darkness, and that parking lot has about zero lighting – quite discomforting when you are trying to load up and get out of the parking area! as a fisherman/boater, i for one am extremely happy that this proposal will address this issue. also, the parking lot is too small to accommodate all the boats/trailers during the peak months, and it is in AWFUL shape, so any improvements along those lines would be most welcome!

  14. steve willard on said:

    As a river rat volunteer with the James River Association,this was my area to obseverve.I met many nice people of all colors and nationalities that fish and boat at Ancarrows.It is a great access point to some spectacular places and views on the James.Iam happy they are cleaning it up.I never had any problem there.Just be aware that those fixing can cast quite far! Another perk is having music on the water complimentary from the Landing across the way on the opposite bank.One place where many catch crabs as well.Not sure I’d eat them,but people catch them.

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