Thanks to Ryan over at richmondcitywatch.com for passing on this rumor.
A new, mixed-use high rise is rumored to be proposed for downtown, on the block bounded by 8th, 9th, canal and cary- currently a surface parking lot owned by Dominion.
“Plans are in the works which may include a mixed use high-rise composed of several levels of parking, ground level retail and several floors of office on the highest levels. The building may or may not traverse the 8th Street Connector to allow for additional development of the block.
Tentatively the building will be approximately 20 stories with one mechanical level. Up to 3 levels of underground parking are also proposed.”
This is exciting news- it’s especially good to see underutilized space downtown put to good use instead of tearing down existing buildings (like Centennial Towers will do). I recently took some out-of-towners down Cary St. and was completely embarrassed by all the parking lots and empty, wasted land east of Belvidere. So I’m especially glad there’s talk about underground parking, instead of taking up more land for another surface or structured parking lot. Maybe one day we’ll have a compact, high density downtown with decent transit that will alleviate the need for people to drive to downtown. At the very least, we need parking lots with some first floor uses (such as retail) that don’t create such gaping holes in the urban fabric. VCU’s Broad St. lot with their Bookstore on the bottom is a good example. I could get carried away complaining about car culture and parking lots, but I’ll save that for another post. Let’s celebrate the good news today: Continued interest in developing downtown and redeveloping a surface parking lot!
Hopefully, this proposal will turn into reality and continue the transformation of downtown.