Thursday, September 5, 2013

Roundtable Discussion to Focus on Livable, Resilient Communities

City of Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones and Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors Chair Dorothy A. Jaeckle will host representatives from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and others for a discussion titled: Advancing Livable and Economically Resilient Communities, on Monday, Sept. 9 at:
  McGuire-Woods LLP, One James Center
  901 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219
  Frances Hayes Conference Room on the 2nd Floor

The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a mix and mingle opportunity, with the program scheduled from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Please note that the roundtable discussion is closed, but will be followed at 11:30 a.m. by a short press avail in the same location.

Deputy Secretary Maurice Jones and Regional Director Jane Vincent, both of HUD, and Undersecretary for Policy at DOT Polly Trottenberg will discuss the topic with representatives from state agencies, local community leaders and members of the business community.

Project Background

The City of Richmond and the County of Chesterfield were awarded a $300,000 HUD sustainability planning grant and $100,000 DOT TIGER II planning grant to develop an inter-jurisdictional comprehensive corridor revitalization plan for 4.7 miles of Hull Street Road.


The revitalization planning began with a series of studies on different elements of the corridor, including zoning and land-use, traffic circulation and connectivity, streetscape, housing, infrastructure, demographics, public open space, and community services. The project incorporated a community outreach strategy; a sustainability approach incorporating green building and green infrastructure principles; a market analysis; a housing strategy; a list of proposed incentives for businesses, property owners, developers, and residences; an open space and recreation plan; and adaptive reuse of vacant property.

During community outreach, the input from residents included the following three requests:

  1. Improve commercial and recreational services
  2. Cleanup and beautify the corridor with building fa├žade standards and improved median landscaping
  3. Improve transportation options by adding more public transportation (especially in Chesterfield County), providing sidewalks along the entire corridor and more crosswalks and walking/biking trails, improving intersection safety with more signals, and repairing potholes and eliminating poor drainage.

The planning process identified four themed development nodes along key intersections on the corridor:

  1. Live and Learn Center – near Bryant & Stratton College and Food Lion (Hicks Road & Walmsley Boulevard)
  2. Multi-Cultural Market Center – near the Manchester YMCA, Manchester Middle School and La Milpa Restaurant (Turner Road)
  3. Design/Health and Wellness Center – near Haynes Furniture Store, Harbor Freight Tools (Chippenham)
  4. Town Center and Family Entertainment Center – near Skateland and Food Lion (Swanson Road)

Finally, the path forward was viewed as needing four components:

  1. Regulatory changes needed to achieve the vision
  2. Economic incentives to encourage new uses
  3. Design principles for Hull Street and enforcement
  4. Funding opportunities and implementation strategies

This planning process was bolstered by a parallel effort led by local business leaders and supported by the City’s Hispanic Liaison’s office to organize and empower a new small business association in the study area. The resulting Merchant’s Club of Virginia has since organized and launched a Latino farmer’s market just off of Hull Street as well as other special events geared toward area small businesses.

Recent Award

Richmond, in partnership with Chesterfield County, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the Virginia based planning and design firm Rhodeside & Harwell, were recently honored by the Virginia Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-VA) with an Outstanding Plan Award for their Comprehensive Revitalization Plan for the Hull Street Corridor.