Over the past few weeks, Style has run opinion pieces on the proposed redevelopment of Shockoe Bottom on their Back Page from two well-informed, well spoken, civically active and respected residents from up the hill. Click through and read both pieces, they are worth your attention.
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David Herring’s Gambling With Gold:Why Shockoe Bottom should be forever removed as a possible baseball stadium location is opposed to Mayor Jones’ plan:
Despite a somewhat haphazard appearance, Shockoe Bottom isn’t a failing section of Richmond. In fact, it’s gaining population every year. The flood-ravaged blocks surrounding Main Street Station and the 17th Street Farmers’ Market are development gold, ripe for long-term economic revitalization. There are jobs to be created and money to be made, but the strength of the area — its history — must inform future development.
Unfortunately, few people understand — while others ignore — the riches that lie beneath the surface. Nowhere is this lack of understanding more evident than in the repeated resurrection of proposals that would put a baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom. The area should be removed forever as a possible stadium location for a few key reasons.
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Mark Kronenthal’s For the Fences: Four reasons why a new ballpark in Shockoe Bottom is the right solution is in support of the development:
I make my home in Union Hill and work in Shockoe Slip. People often are surprised when I tell them that I live and work near Shockoe — and that I can’t wait to walk over with my family to see the Squirrels play baseball there. In fact, I believe my neighborhood’s future depends on it.
Redevelopment of old buildings has fueled Shockoe’s rebirth during the past 20 years. But that’s almost done, and blocks and blocks of crumbling parking lots still sit in the neighborhood’s center. Nothing’s there to re-develop, and it’s tough to build anything new because the neighborhood lies in a flood plain.