Apartment building debate in Richmond

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The city planning commission spent several hours this afternoon listening to arguments for and against the proposed apartment complex. Developers want to build it on Marshall Street. Right now there are only a few industrial buildings on this block. Supporters of the project say this is simply progress.

"I think it'd be a big mistake to sacrifice the opportunity just because fear of change. I think it's going to be beneficial for everybody," said David Gagliardi who supports the apartment project.

The apartment complex would house 498 people. Some neighbors think that's way too many.

"What we're looking at is a greater concentration of people in a very small space," said Michael Pittman who is against the apartment project.

This area is no stranger to big buildings though. The Siegel Center is only a few feet away and several other apartment buildings are nearby.

"I've lived in China four times. These people don't know what density is," Sam Forrest said.

City staff members have concerns another big building here could ruin the neighborhood feel of the Carver area. That's why the planning commission is not supporting the project.

"It is congested now.  If you look at Marshall Street, it's two-way but once you have all that particular traffic coming in, it's going to be a problem," Pittman said.

Ultimately it's up to the city council to decide whether to approve the apartment complex. They can ignore the planning commission and approve it if they want. The soonest it could come up for a vote by the council would be next week.

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