The Downtown market has changed dramatically since 2000.
Making Downtown LIVE + WORK versus just WORK will be the most important development in the rebirth of Richmond for the foreseeable future. Without the population base to support it, there can be no retail and without the retail, people won’t stay. It is the next wave.
There have been two towers built (Riverside on the James and the Vistas on the James), multiple condo buildings and restaurants in the Rocketts Village project, several other sleek projects on smaller scales (The Reserve, Gotham, Emrick Flats, 2C and the Marshall Street Bakery) that have all provided ownership opportunities in Downtown neighborhoods. Additionally, there have been close to 2000 apartment units added in the warehouse districts of Shockoe and Manchester that are providing a residential base where there has not been one in a very long time.
For the most part, the incentives that the City (and State and Federal Government) put in place to aid development has worked. The beautiful old buildings full of history and texture sat idle or underutilized for decades and are now vibrant and thriving. Neighborhoods that faced issues of blight and crime are now far safer and quieter. The property taxes collected by the city have risen dramatically and there is now far greater leadership at City Hall.
While there are still several high profile sections of Downtown in need of redevelopment, it is a fraction of what it once was only 15 years ago.
About the Writer // Rick Jarvis, is one of the founding partners of the One South Realty Group and began his real estate career in the early 1990’s. He is a life long Richmond native.