Council seeking support for medical complex

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Baseball struck out, but these city council members are hoping a tier one medical facility will hit a home run in Shockoe Bottom.

"We've had so many things in Shockoe Bottom proposed and I think the people are getting worn out with it. This is one of things that came along that had some legs," said Doug Conner, Richmond City Council Member.

The idea is from the idea man, former mayoral candidate Paul Goldman. He says Richmond could model this area after Rochester, Minnesota's famed Mayo Clinic.

"A town of about a hundred thousand people. It employs in the city of Rochester 30,000 people," said Paul Goldman.

Goldman says a tier one medical, research, education and hospital complex would not only bring jobs, but it would add millions to the local economy.

"Where do you think people have to stay when you come to a complex like this? People have to eat they want to live near this so it will be a tremendous revitalization for the whole east end of Richmond," said Goldman.

The council members want to form a commission to study the concept. If Richmond's moves forward with the idea, it would be a private/public partnership that could take five to 10 years to create.

"Our people are hurting in Richmond. We need jobs we need stability in jobs. We need good paying jobs," said Marty Jewell, Richmond City Council Member.

The idea is to build on what's already here, complementing and using the resources of the VCU Medical Center and Bio Tech Park.

These council members say Richmond could create the future of health care for the commonwealth.

"We need to take this challenge on. When the going gets tough the tough got to get going and you don't sit here and wait for the market and revenue to come to you. You go get it! The resolution to create the commission will be presented to the full council next month," said Jewell.

Supporters want to use the $100,000 already set aside by the city council to study what kinds of projects would work here in the Bottom.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.