Mayor Stoney: Economic development is key to 2021 recovery

Mayor Stoney: Economic development is key to 2021 recovery

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - He’s going to take another run at it in 2021. Richmond’s Mayor says prime, city-owned real estate downtown and elsewhere needs to develop.

“We want to get the best project possible that will allow for us to bring economic justice to those who need it the most,” Mayor Levar Stoney said.

Stoney wants to boldly move on bringing economic development to the downtown area currently occupied by The Richmond Coliseum and about 60-acres in the Arthur Ashe Boulevard-area. He hopes a new city council in the new year will bring about a new opportunity.

“We’re going to need the council to find ways to get to yes. And I’m focused on continuing to always have my door open for conversation and discuss and at times debate because I think those who are on city council will want to get the best for their constituents,” Stoney said.

Earlier this year, the council harpooned the mayor’s Navy Hill vision. Part of it now heading to neighboring Henrico County. Keep in mind, the city may also have a potential casino project in need of land, depending on what voters have to say next year.

But NBC12′s year-end conversation with Stoney wasn’t just centered around the development. The mayor says the city’s response to COVID-19 will dominate the new year with a focus on getting shots in the arms of everyone in Richmond.

“That is going to be a gargantuan effort between the state, the health departments and also the locality as well here in the City of Richmond,” Stoney said.

During his second term as mayor, Stoney wants to close the gap by bolstering Pre-K education, increasing Black homeownership and building more affordable housing.

“As we recover from this pandemic, recover from this recession we’re going to do everything we can not just fiscally but also we have to be even more innovative,” Stoney said.

The city council would have the final say on economic development in those areas. The mayor promised any potential project would have extensive public input.

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