There are several bloggers who’ve posted about the new developments downtown, as reported at Venture Richmond’s downtown development forum. So I won’t do the whole list, but here’s some of the things I’m particularly excited about:

  • Miller & Rhoads conversion will include both hotel and condo units (I think about 100?). We need to bring more residents to Broad and Grace Sts. That more than any big-ticket city project (Performing Arts Building? Convention Center?) will bring downtown back to life. Let’s hope the condo market picks back up- or else they build reasonably priced units that might have a chance of selling- though I seriously doubt that will happen.
  • Toad’s Place should start booking bands by this summer. Please God can we get some decent music venues in this town.
  • The National Theater will also start booking shows this summer.
  • A Chili’s and Starbucks will open at the corner of Cary and Belvidere. OK, I don’t eat at chain restaurants. I’ll likely never eat at the new Chili’s, if it’s built. But my positive spin on this is that national chains don’t take many risks, and this is a real sign that downtown Richmond is a solid market.
  • Speaking of national interest in downtown, did you know Broad St.’s new Popkin Tavern is owned by a restaurant group in Chicago? This is their first venture outside of the Windy City.
  • The Virginia Capital Trail -a bike and pedestrian trail linking Williamsburg to Richmond. Construction should start this summer to linking this trail with the Canal Walk. Basically they’ll extend the Canal Walk down to Great Ship Lock Park by building under the railroad trestle.

Condos, concerts, and bike trails! What could be better?