RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond is launching a new effort this week to turnaround an East End neighborhood.
The goal is to give the 25th Street business corridor and Nine Mile Road a shot in the arm. These are gateways into the city and many who live here say these roads need some help.
Trash blows around the neighborhood. Businesses are abandoned. Old homes are boarded up. Not the most welcoming drive in to Richmond off I-64.
Peter Chapman is the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic and Community Development.
"When you look at poverty levels of distress, home ownership rates, you see that that neighborhood begs for a very high level of investment or reinvestment as it were," he said.
Chapman says the mayor is committed to turning this area around. And plans to do it with intensive community meetings with nearly every group in the area.
"We need to have a process for eliciting the best ideas from the widest group of stakeholders," he added.
Bon Secours is sponsoring the event. It owns Community Hospital, which is in the center of the corridor. City leaders and hospital executives will try to engage area churches, public safety officials and citizens like Rusty Williams. He's lived along nine mile for 55 years.
"I'd like to see more businesses and a little more stores around here," said Williams.
"The initiative is something we are all in support of. We want to help bring business, bring more people," Church Hill resident Terrie Scherer said.
The meetings will be held at the Robinson Theatre and the East End Family Resource Center.
"It's just one step in what will be a very lengthy realistically, very lengthy and intensive reinvestment process," Chapman said.
East End Initiative:
** all meetings will take place at the Family Resource Center
2405 Jefferson Avenue unless noted otherwise.
Tuesday, June 1: Transportation/Infrastructure meeting 2-3 p.m.
Wednesday, June 2 Police/Fire/Safety Meeting 10-11 a.m.
Housing/Retail and Developers Meeting: 1-2 p.m.
Opening Presentation 5-6:30 p.m. at the Robinson Theatre
Thursday: June 3
Community Health, Senior and Faith Organization Meeting
10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Studio Open house 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Friday June 4
Philanthropy and Foundations Meeting
10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Saturday June 5
Youth and Family meeting 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Monday June 7
Closing Presentation 5-6:30 p.m. Robinson Theatre