Readers weigh in on Coliseum and Downtown development proposal

1/10/2020, 6 a.m.
Re: “Thumbs down: City Council-appointed advisory commission rejects $1.5B Coliseum and Downtown redevelopment plan after 3-month review,” Free Press Dec. ...

‘There’s no such thing as a “can’t miss” project’

Re: “Thumbs down: City Council-appointed advisory commission rejects $1.5B Coliseum and Downtown redevelopment plan after 3-month review,” Free Press Dec. 26-28 edition:

I would like to thank the Navy Hill Development Advisory Commission members for their due diligence and time before deciding that this plan is not a viable option.

I know that Mayor Levar M. Stoney, along with some other officials, tried to make it look like a “can’t miss” project at the expense of other agencies. We should have learned from having the Washington professional football team training camp here that there is no such thing as a “can’t miss” project. The projected income from having the Washington team here for summer camp has not materialized. The only thing that has occurred is that Richmond taxpayers are footing a lot of the bill whether they want to or not — and many of us are on a fixed income.

I know we have had many public meetings concerning the Navy Hill District Corp.’s Coliseum proposal in order to try to sell this massive project. To me, it did not pass the smell test when I looked deep into how this project would be funded. This is one reason why the advisory commission gave a thumbs down to this project.

Why don’t we put a massive amount of money in our public schools so that we can enhance the training of our children who are our future, or deal with the blight of homelessness? They, too, are human beings and many of them need our help.

It seems as if we are getting caught up in massive projects and not worrying about social issues such as schools, people, etc.

I was told a long time ago if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If half the energy would be exerted to push our school kids for- ward, we would get a better return for our money. We also can never forget the plight of the people and those who are homeless. They need our help, especially with frigid weather on the horizon.

I respectfully ask that things be done for the greater good — the people.



Navy Hill development must restore the area’s black wealth

I had a daydream about the Navy Hill project.

I imagine walking from my home in Jackson Ward and reaching the Navy Hill development and being in awe of its beauty, but much more so proud that it actually evolved into something awesome because the developers and public officials really listened and took the bold steps to make it a current community of black wealth.

I see a revived black-owned bank with its main branch in the Navy Hill District, with a few other branches located throughout Richmond.

In my daydreaming, I also see a group of youths with an adult who’s pointing to a 20-story hotel as well as the old Blues Armory and new arena and mentioning that those buildings were designed by black architects who also are involved in the new development in Gilpin Court.