RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Some changes are underway right now along Hull Street in Richmond. Mayor Dwight Jones hopes these changes are just the beginning of what's to come in the future.
The buildings in the Manchester area are starting to look new again. The businesses are coming. Crime is down and the old traffic signals that you could barely see are gone.
Alton Belsches works right in the middle of the area Mayor Dwight Jones is targeting for some major changes. "I think its all good. The Manchester area is improving. More people are living down there now and more bridge traffic so that's good for my business."
He's right and the mayor is noticing it too. "It's nice to see something that has bottomed out begin to have an upward trajectory," says Mayor Jones.
Right now, crews are working on repaving parts of hull street. It's all part of improving the infrastructure here over the coming weeks and months.
"That's really a big deal because when you have the right street (work), that attracts businesses to come," adds Mayor Jones.
Come they have. Some business are moving in. Some are already here. In fact, Papa's Pizza is just one restaurant that recently moved in, after the city helped with tax and other incentives.
The city plans to work with other businesses to do the same.
Of course, a big emphasis will be placed on building owners to do their part--- to clean up the boarded up and run down buildings.
Then there's the Mayo Bridge. The connector to the downtown area. Right now, talk is ongoing on what to do: replace this bridge or improve it.
Alton just wants one thing: the improvements to continue. "That's for sure. That's for sure. More improvements hopefully will mean we'll be here a bit longer."
Mayor Jones told us today he hopes the Mayo Bridge will stay with some improvements, because it is a historic bridge.
The work in other areas along parts of Hull Street actually extend eastern parts of Chesterfield County.