The Commonwealth of Virginia's Ultimate Blog

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Speaking of development...

The RTD has a series of articles, starting with this one, about a proposal to build a new downtown ballpark in Richmond. As with seemingly all new developments, the idea of building a ballpark in Shockoe Bottom has engendered strong feelings on both sides. Opponents of the plan seek to go the cheaper route by renovating The Diamond, the current home of the Triple-A Richmond Braves. The idea's supporters note that the plan will use mostly private funds to develop a distressed area of the city with apartments, condos, shops and restaurants, along with the ballpark. A look at the proposed site is found here.

Unfortunately, many communities have recently fallen prey to the idea that brand-spanking new sports complexes can generate immediate growth in traditionally run-down areas. In many cases, these efforts do not achieve the desired results. However, the "mixed-use" plan offered here seems like a much more appropriate development plan that incorporates improvement of the whole community. While details are still coming out, on first impression this proposal seems like it has great potential to revitalize a part of our capital city that has been through some tough times.


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