Developer talks about plans for City Stadium

By Laura Geller - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmonders living near City Stadium will get a chance Saturday to tell one developer what they think of potential design plans.  Friday the Fulton Hill Partnership showed us two possible options for the old Spiders football site.

It is important to stress these are just ideas.

This is the first time Fulton Hill Partnership has talked on camera about its potential plans for 20-acre City Stadium site.  One manager didn't want to go too in depth before Saturday's community meeting but did have some responses to the surrounding neighborhood's concerns we brought forward Friday.

Larry Winborne can see City Stadium from his front yard.  For months, he's listened to the wide ranging rumors of what could happen to the old Spiders site.  He has one major concern to share with any potential developer.

"There is a community feel here so if they can develop it and maintain the community feel here it will be fine," he said.

Manager Paul Bratten met us at the site Friday. He said the company's goal is to complement the surrounding neighborhood.

"The cornerstone of our idea is having a place where people can come together and be a part of their community and live work and play," Bratten told us.

The idea is a mixed-use development, with more than 40 percent residential, 30 percent office space and less than 15 percent retail or restaurant space.  One design is more in line with the city grid, while the other is more pedestrian friendly.

Not everyone likes what they see.

Marty Jewell who represents the area on the city council.  He explained he will be at Saturday's meeting and will talk with us more on camera when he hears what the developers have to say.

He has said, however, that he'd like this site to remain a stadium.  He thinks a city of Richmond's size deserves one.

Others have voiced concerns about more traffic and less parking.

"We would try to keep all of the traffic and all of the traffic patterns away from the neighborhood," Bratten said.

Winborne wants to hear what Fulton Hill has to say.

"I think we need to be open to anything," he said.  "Do the research; see what would be better for the area."

It's important to note the designs are just rough drafts and could change as Fulton Hill gets more input. Also, this is city-owned land, which officials would have to decide to sell before anything can become a reality.

Saturday's meeting will go from 10 a.m. through noon at the Carillon in Byrd Park off Blanton Avenue. The Fulton Hill Partnership will present the two designs then take suggestions from the community.

It's planning another meeting at the same location from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. next Wednesday.

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