Changes coming to riverfront - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Changes coming to riverfront

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There could be some changes coming to a popular fishing spot in Richmond. The city wants to spend nearly a million dollars to clean up the Intermediate Terminal site east of downtown.

The city is looking at adding a wooden dock and possibly pave the way for a restaurant overlooking the James.

Nearby fishermen have mixed reactions. Some don't want anything that will ruin their quiet fishing spot, but most say they'd welcome any development:

The site itself isn't much to look at - weeds growing in the cracks of the concrete and a large vacant building - but the view from this neglected site is much more attractive.

Frank Oliver grew up in Richmond and is back in town, visiting from Dallas. He said this popular fishing spot brings back a lot of memories.

"I used to play down here," Oliver said. "We used to come down and fish and do all the things in our younger years, and play hooky sometimes."

He said he'd love to see the city clean up the area and make it more appealing for people to come enjoy the James.

"This is a beautiful view," he said. "I figure if you put the right thing down here, with the right kind of lighting, it'd be awesome at nighttime."

Rick Johnson stopped by the Intermediate Terminal to fish today for the first time. He said he likes going to some of the other restaurants already overlooking the river and thinks there's room for another one here.

"The restaurant would be perfect," Johnson said. "River view, scenic, environmentally attractive, yeah this would be a great place."

Not everyone is on board with these plans. Some people like coming here because it's quiet and there's not a lot of people around and they're afraid some of this development might ruin that.

But some say this is prime real estate, ripe for someone to develop it.

"If you got it, people will come," Oliver said. "It ain't going to happen with them talking about it. Somebody has to step up to the plate and do it. I'd come back to see it, I'd come back all the way from Texas just to see it."

Part of that vacant building nearby is privately owned. A few years ago, former Governor Doug Wilder tried to build a marina on this same site.

There's no word yet on when any construction at the site could start.

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