Public meeting to plan future of North Boulevard

By Laura Geller - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Cross Broad Street onto North Boulevard and it's almost like you're entering a different world. The traditional brick buildings replaced by an industrial design scheme with vacancies every few blocks.

City Councilman Charles Samuels considers the area a gateway to the city and a gateway to possibility.

"I see more potential here than almost anywhere else in my district," he said. "I think this is a fantastic opportunity to focus the communities who use the Boulevard on what they want to see happen here and not just rely on what developers bring to them."

Steve Papoulakos's Vogue Flower Shop has been on the Boulevard for 16 years. He's seen many improvements in that time but says development has taken longer than expected.

"We're hopeful and optimistic that it's revitalizing this whole area," he said.

Mayor Dwight Jones specifically mentioned the area in his State of the City address Thursday night, saying he wanted a new baseball diamond here. It could lead the way to more growth.

"The corridor lends itself to high density mixed use development," said Mayor Jones. "The site is the largest undeveloped site in the city."

Papoulakos hopes this help from the city could make North Boulevard a destination.

"Hopefully we'll see the people walk just like they do in Carytown," he said. "I would like to see another Carytown where the customers come here to shop, eat and go to the movies."

The meeting to give your ideas is Tuesday night from 6-9 p.m. at the Richmond Triangle Players building at 1300 Altamont Avenue. If you can't make it Tuesday there'll be another session in March.

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