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Councilman Hilbert and Mayoral Advisor pitch retail development aspect of baseball plan

Economic Advisor Hicks showing off his Powerpoint. Photo by Mark Gormus/RTD

Economic Advisor Hicks showing off his Powerpoint. Photo by Mark Gormus/RTD


Last night in the first of what is to be a long series of meetings David Hicks, senior policy adviser to the Mayor, and Councilman Hilbert focused on the economic development of the Diamond site. It was stated that the Northside was a “retail desert” which the Mayor’s plan would fix as expected there was some disagreement on that point. Full details at RTD.

Hicks said Wednesday that the community will have to decide what it wants to see there.

“Do you want to see a Walmart? Probably not,” Hicks said. “Would you maybe like to see a Trader Joe’s? Would you maybe like to see an Ikea?”

Hicks was countered at the meeting by Phil Wilayto, who has spearheaded some of the opposition to the Shockoe stadium plan.

“The plan itself, we believe, is a house of cards,” Wilayto said, adding that the proposal doesn’t do enough to memorialize the Bottom’s slave-trading history and that the financial numbers to not pass muster.

Casting aside the moving the stadium debate, do you feel that north RVA is a “retail desert”? Does that need to be fixed? What would you like to see in terms of retail establishments?

Baseball News on Shockoe

5 comments

  1. #1 • Scott •

    Richard, did Hilbert push the Shockoe stadium plan? That is what your title suggests.

    The fact is that developing Boulevard could cure ‘retail desert’ with or without this crooked stadium deal. The footprint of what is proposed for Shockoe could easily fit onto Boulevard, with plenty of room left over for more new development.

  2. #2 • Thomas •

    Lol just give me an Ikea and a Whole Foods in the city and those people can do whatever they want.

  3. #3 • northrichmond •

    I was not at the meeting Scott but as the Mayor has stated that it’s an all or nothing deal with the Shockoe Plan. To the best of my knowledge the idea of refurbished Diamond on the Boulevard was not discussed.

  4. #4 • Ben •

    I’d love to see a Trader Joes; Ikea or Walmart – not so much. It would be great to see that area developed into a work/play/live/shop area. An area with shops, with green area for family or individual activities. Perhaps a small amphitheater would be nice for small concerts / culture activities. If done properly it could really revitalize the area and tie the Fan and the Northside together nicely.

  5. #5 • Lauren •

    Hear, hear! I’m all for reuse of the current stadium location, as well. Yes, we are in a desert – there are many parts of Northside where a decent grocer is not within walking distance. This plan wouldn’t fix that for much of Northside (Highland Park, etc.), but it saves me from having to drive to the ‘burbs for my shopping!