You can decide future of Richmond's riverfront

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - You could decide the future of Richmond's riverfront.

The city wants to start two major projects along the James, but what it does and where, is up to you. A public forum will be held Wednesday to get your ideas.

Mike Britt hopes he's ahead of the curve. He's opening up a restaurant on the James in an old Coast Guard boat.

"It just seemed natural to me," Britt said.  "Everybody wants to be on the water so this was just a no-brainer for me."

His boat is docked at the Intermediate Terminal. He said Richmond's riverfront already has some spectacular views, but there are spots like this that could use a makeover.

"This area (the Intermediate Terminal) is just ripe for development," he said.

The City of Richmond is hoping to attract more people like Britt to the banks of the James.

Bill Kinsley says he'd like to see more walkways and maybe some pedestrian bridges across the river.

"There's a lot of history here you can open up just by having it so people can walk," Kinsley said.  "A nice wide promenade type of thing you could just walk on (would be great)."

Jacquelyn Meyers says she'd love to see more restaurants and a hotel along the riverfront.

"A lot of us older people don't travel too far to have a night out or spend the night in a motel or hotel," Meyers said.  "This would be an ideal place to come to celebrate an anniversary without driving. Why go to Williamsburg when we got Richmond?"

Riverfront businessmen like Britt said more city investment will only help.

"It would bring other businesses that feed off the same thing," Britt said.  "This is a hot spot in here."

The first public forum will start at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Virginia War Memorial. There will be two more public forums later this year if you can't make this one.

The city hopes to have a plan in place by January.

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