Better Block Project coming to Church Hill - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Better Block Project coming to Church Hill


A temporary change can have a lasting impact - that's the philosophy behind a neighborhood project headed our way. It's called the Better Block Project, and it's coming to Church Hill in June.

Thomas O'Kelly describes Church Hill as friendly and open. Not only does he work in the area running his contracting business on North 25th Street, he's also lived in the area for more than 15 years. He says the area he loves sometimes gets a bad rap, and he'd like to see that change.

"It's had a rough history, and people are working hard to bring it back together and make it a more vibrant place to live," said O'Kelly.

That's why news that the first ever Better Block Project was headed to Church Hill was music to his ears. The project is a partnership between the City of Richmond, team Better Block, Sports Backers and more.

Local business and residents also play a role in the success of the project.

The goal is to temporarily transform a block into a more vibrant area, making it a spot where people want to walk, eat, shop and socialize. 

The first Better Block Project will happen on North 25th Street, within a two block radius between P and R streets.

The transformation happens only for a weekend but with a bigger goal in mind at the end.

"Anytime we can bring everybody together at one time, that's gonna start the creative process, and hopefully people will be investing and will start some business and get people talking and from there things can move forward," said O'Kelly.

There have been more than 60 Better Block projects across the world. O'Kelly says his business will take part in the first one in our area. His hope is that other will learn what he says he already knows about Church Hill.

"It couldn't be a better place to start," said O'Kelly.

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