While things are not going swimmingly for the Boulevard redevelopment, Shockoe continues to receive development proposals. Read the latest details and see pictures for a mixed-use development at Cedar and Broad (near the McDonald’s & Exxon) over at Church Hill People’s News.

The proposal, which is in its early stages, includes over 160 apartments, a rooftop pool, 5000 sq. ft. of retail, & courtyard parking (which helps mitigate the visual effect of our overabundance of cars on the urban landscape).

This will complement the redevelopment of Cold Storage into lofts and a brewery, the Sisson building, as well as the continuing conversion of other warehouses around Shockoe.

Predictably, the Church Hill People’s News commenters are concerned about their view and parking. The architects have done a great job in the proposal of hiding unsightly HVAC vents & units, and hiding parking in the courtyard. However, since MCV commuters currently use the parking lot on the site of the development, residents are concerned about where those students will park once that lot is gone.

While I understand the problem (which Carver, Oregon Hill, & the Fan have been dealing with for years), there are solutions other than opposing the development or advocating for surface parking lots. The Fan and Carver have decal parking; MCV has a number of pay parking lots and decks served by a well-developed shuttle system.

The folks currently parking in the lot near the McDonald’s and the streets in Shockoe are looking for a less expensive parking option. Keep providing cheap or free parking, and people will use it.

We should be celebrating the conversion of any and every surface parking lot into a more useful, (hopefully) beautiful space. Let’s figure out parking dilemmas in other ways- rather than preserving the status quo.

For more on parking lots in Shockoe, read my commentary, “No More Parking Lots, a Desperate Plea.”

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