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Top stories of 2013

12/23/2013 10:21 AM by

Here are the stories that were big this year, or big for a few days anyway, or could have a huge impact going forward. In no particular order…

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27th & Marshall / Jefferson Avenue

It’s hard to believe what 27th & Marshall has become this year. The scraggely intersection, dominated by a historically vacant historic property and a constellation of empty storefronts, had long been a reminder of how the neighborhood used to have retail services.

Holdouts and pioneers like Ben’s Barbershop and Cyclus Bicycles kept the strip on life support, but the corner was not anyone’s idea of a destination. Not anymore… WPA Bakery opened at the end of 2012, and then Dutch & Co., ERA Vintage, and Loving Lemons followed in 2013. The corner isn’t done: one of the premier retail spots in the neighborhood has been renovated and is awaiting a tenant.

Alamo BBQ has been bringing folks to Jefferson Avenue for the past 4 1/2 years. New neighbors Cyclus in their now-larger shop across the street are a perfect fit on this well-travelled strip. When Union Market opens, the former Jumpin’ J’s/Johnson’s spot should have a tenant who will become an integral part of the neighborhood.

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Fire at Sub Rosa

When Sub Rosa caught fire in early April, people across Richmond were stunned. The neighborhood showed the city what community means when folks rallied to make sure that the apartment dwellers were ok and to show the love for Evrim and Evin.

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The Real Babymamas Of Richmond

The Real Babymamas of Richmond came out of seemingly nowhere, and before their first episode even aired everyone had an opinion. Put me in the awed column, something very real could come from this.

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Captain Buzzy’s

Buzzy’s wanted to get an ABC license and stay open an hour later. It wasn’t that simple, though, was it? I give you three of the 24 posts tagged “Captain Buzzys” from 2013:

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Church Hill Rising

In the midst of the Buzzy’s drama, Church Hill got a cover story in Style Weekly that went for a larger, longer view on the current moment.

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Hood fights

A series of Youtube videos of fights in the area sparked a lot of interest, and in light of how the whole Buzzy’s thing went down, an interesting conversation about what constitutes a “disservice to the community.”

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The proposed Shockoe Redevelopment

Mayor Jones finally released a plan for the proposed Shockoe redevelopment in November, continuing a conversation in play for the past decade or so.

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Cedar Street Apartments

Construction is well underway at the new 151-unit Cedar Street Apartments at Cedar and Mosby Streets. This development connects Union Hill to the reborn Shockoe Valley, and could have ripple effects up Venable Street.

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Church Hill North Choice Neighborhoods

The Church Hill North Choice Neighborhoods project hopes to remake the city’s most challenged neighborhoods. This could radically redraw the north end of the area.

The planning process is expected to last 12-18 months, and to produce a document outlining a vision of how a portion of the East East might be transformed. The planning area includes the northern edge of Church Hill North, Fairmount, Woodville, and the Creighton Court area, though in conversation Fairfield Court, Mosby Court, and the Whitcomb area were all included as well. At the end of the planning process, the project should then be competitive towards winning a $30,000,000 HUD-funded Choice Neighborhoods implementation grant to put the plan to reality. As The Community Builders’ Rob Fossi said, the process “is intended to lead to real development”.


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