The city is finally pulling the plug on the last remnants of 6th St. Marketplace: the food court & a few city offices.  That’s a good thing, as the TD reports that the city was losing $600,000 to $800,000 each year on the building.

Wilder gave all tenants – private businesses as well as city agencies – 90 days to vacate.

Read the full story here, including the rather sad stories of folks who’re losing gobs of money they’ve invested in their businesses.

In terms of redeveloping the site, the TD reports, “Richmond officials say they intend to publicly solicit plans for redeveloping the property, owned by the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority.”

Let’s hope private developers can do what the city couldn’t.  There’s plenty of blame to go around for the failure of 6th St., but it should serve as a warning to all about the promises of elected officials that big-ticket publicly financed projects aren’t necessarily all they’re cracked up to be.  Again from the TD, “The building is all that remains of 6th Street Marketplace, envisioned as the catalyst for downtown renewal when it opened amid fanfare in 1985.”

In my opinion, there’s definitely a role for government in redevelopment of aging urban areas.  But we need to ask hard questions about feasibility and cost, and demand rigorous public scrutiny of the projects.

And as for the market remnants, I’m going to make one last nostalgic trip to remember the infrequent trips made there in my youth.  I can still see the kites and hear the bell signaling the public candy-making show at the Fudgery .