RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Shockoe Bottom business owners are calling on the city to follow through with its promises. They say the city told them major street renovations and better parking would be included with the 17th Street Farmers Market renovations.
“It’s been devastating for me and every other business down here,” David Napier said.
Napier owns the Old City Bar in the oldest part of the city: Shockoe Bottom.
“If I can’t make it work at some point it will probably get turned into apartments,” Napier said.
Many business owners say they are ready for the 17th Street Farmers Market and the area around it to be completed once and for all.
“It’s taken so long some of the businesses weren’t able to survive the process and the rest of us are barely hanging on,” Napier said.
David tells me although most of it is done, business owners were promised a renovated parking lot and other features in hopes of making it easy for those coming to the area.
“The connection to the parking on the other side of Main Street Station. They have to do a major street project that’s going to impact our business for months. That was supposed to have started a month ago. I don’t know when that’s going to start,” Napier said.
It’s no secret that parking can be a headache in the area. Many hope this will bring in the customers.
“We just want a chance to succeed in our two-block area,” Napier said.
City officials confirm they are working on redoing streets and the area.
“This whole street has to be closed off in sections and they are going down to pavers and it matches the historical characters of the neighborhood,” Napier said.
As customers slowly trickle into businesses in the area, Napier hopes to turn this area into the ‘place to be’ in town.
“We will make this neighborhood pretty, vibrant and work if we can just get this stuff finished to get people down here,” Napier said.
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