About 110 people gathered at the Virginia War Memorial Tuesday night for the second of three Richmond Riverfront public forums. See Richmond.com for my coverage from last night. I attended the first public forum and was invited to participate as an individual to give input in the early planning stages. There is still a very guarded […]
About 110 people gathered at the Virginia War Memorial Tuesday night for the second of three Richmond Riverfront public forums.
I attended the first public forum and was invited to participate as an individual to give input in the early planning stages. There is still a very guarded approach from most of the outspoken forum attendees, and last night included some opposition to planning.
The architecture firm hired to execute the plans, Hargreaves Associates, presented possible mixed-use plans for the NewMarket Corp. property, which brought many questions from the crowd.
Scott Burger, a resident of the Oregon Hill neighborhood, was very outspoken about several issues, including the recent cutting of trees and destruction of a wall along the Kanawha Canal on the NewMarket property. He also expressed concern for Dominion’s intentions with the proposed connector road between Tredegar and Second streets and the possibility that Dominion could still add floors to it’s headquarters building. He also pointed out that a billboard on Mayo Island is illegal and should be taken down.
I was surprised that there wasn’t more organized opposition to the NewMarket property, though it could be that Burger was selected to represent his neighborhood, which has a history of battling with NewMarket (Ethyl).
There was clear opposition to any Echo Harbour-type development from a large group of Libby Hill residents and supporters. They were very outspoken about wanting to purchase the USP property next to Great Shiplock Park and the Lehigh Cement properties, but have not been able to get a price quote.
The most interesting proposal from Hargreaves was something I hadn’t heard of before for the Norfolk Southern property:
Norfolk Southern: Privately-held 6.6 acre property behind the Floodwall, just east of the Manchester Bridge. Interesting suggestion to move the railroad siding that forms a semi-circle behind the Floodwall and to fill in the area with dirt to raise the level of the area to the height of the Floodwall. “It could be a major transformation on the Southside,” [Mary Margaret] Jones said. It could also be a key component for the potential Reynolds Metals South development, located just east of the Norfolk Southern property, which Jones suggested was available and had been discussed with the railroad company.
The project seemed like a beautiful way to create something beautiful in one of the most attractive and under-utilized areas of the riverfront, though I expect that the cost of buying the land, filling in the area behind the floodwall and constructing a terrace on the banks of the river may be too expensive to meet the needed value of the project.
I’ll be writing and examining more of these proposals individually soon and will certainly continue to cover the riverfront developments.