Here are notes from the first half of the meeting last night, please add more if you have anything.
A presentation was made by Joe Slay of Slay Public Relations. Echo Harbor’s proposed location is at 3011 and 3021 Dock Street and will be 2 18-story buildings to house 260 condo units, a health club(open for membership to the public), and 5-star restauraunt.
The Echo Harbor project is requesting a special use permit for the land they own, currently zoned “M-2” for heavy industrial use. They want to change the zoning to RF-2, which is riverfront mixed-residential use. The project principals are:. USP Development, LLC (didn’t catch the guy’s name); Baskervill (Bob Tierney); KEnbridge Construction/R3Development (George Ross); Shockoe Properties(Mark Merhidge, who will manage the proposed properties); and Slay Public Relations/Martin Agency.
The key points the Echo Harbor Group made regarding the project were:
- no contribution requested from the city
- a direct $215 mill investment in the city in a part of town that is currently not developed
- $3mill estimated net in tax revenue for the city projected, based on study done by private consulting firm – they said they will make this study public via the mayor’s office)
- the site that will be developed is designated as a “Brownfield”
- the development will make the river more accessible – boat slips, river access from the N, E and W – currently only accessible from the South.
- will donate land to the city and will extend the canal walk from 17th street to the proposed development site.
- site will include portion of the Capital Bike Trail that will connect RVA to Williamsburg
Concerns were expressed by by residents (of which our diligent note-taker was only able to get a partial account):
- Martha Kent – requested access to feasibilty studies
- gentleman who lives on libby hill terrace – expressed concern about height of proposed builidings, blocking view of river
- female resident asked if jobs will be created for local residents
- Eugenia Ellis – expressed concern over developing totally untouched part of the riverfront and environmental impact of doing so
DISCUSS: This proposed development might not be the best possible thing for city residents, but could be the lesser evil considering the fact that the site is zoned for industrial development that could sit right on the river bank instead of 300 feet back; could be a great deal taller than the proposed 18 story buildings; will be developed in environmentally ‘sensitive’ way using some environmental-impact consulting firm.