HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Innsbrook is about to undergo a transformation and tonight, the public was given a sneak peak. It started as a corporate office park, but now the plan is for a mixed-use community, that includes water front condos, retail, as well as hiking and biking trails. Still, there are many people worried about the change.
Developers just asked Henrico County to re-zone a lot of land for urban development. They want citizens to think of it as an urban downtown for Henrico- much more than just an area with parking lots and office buildings. Tonight, they called on the community to listen to their ideas. But not everyone bought it.
"It might be a great plan for Innsbrook and Highwoods Properties, but for the residents around it, I just don't feel there is a value to it," said Art Cummings.
Paul Kreckman, the Vice-President of Highwood Properties, tried to convince those still on the fence that change is good for their future.
"Business is mobile these days... you have to have a really great place to conduct business and so the places that are good for business are also good for residents," said Kreckman.
One of the biggest concerns for the new development was the projected increase in traffic... especially at Broad and Cox...developers agree, and say, people will learn to adjust to the change.
"(It'll be) unbelievable," worried Art Cummings, "we're going to be like unfortunately, I'd say, Midlothian Turnpike, Jahnke Road from 7 o'clock in the morning till 9 and from 4 to 6pm so... I just don't see how they're going to filter out all the cars."
There will be bus stops within the New Innsbrook, along with better looking parking decks and even an added police sub-station and fire station for safety if folks choose to walk. And for those who live just outside of the business community, developers say retail shops will be away from neighborhoods and closer to the lakes within.
Twenty years and 2.4 billion dollars from now, Highwoods Properties promises that Innsbrook will be a better place to live, work and play. They hope to start building next year.
There will be a public hearing in a couple of months, and developers still need Henrico County to give them the final approval.