I have heard a lot of dissent about the way that Shockoe Bottom has been ignored by the city. Sure, sure, the business owners in the Bottom feel slighted from the lack of assistance in response to promises made after Gaston. But I have heard a lot of people complain about the lack of focus on keeping the streets clean.
There is even a special property tax (only assessed to property owners in the Bottom) that is supposed to go to keeping the area nice. Maybe the tax isn’t enough, I don’t know. But something needs to be done to retain existing businesses and to attract new businesses. (And, yes, I am aware that this "special" tax is assessed in other areas, but I don’t think that most people know about it.)
In any case, this news that Style reported on yesterday was a welcome announcement (now we just need to be sure that it is spent the way it is intended):
City spokesman Linwood Norman says that in the budget passed June 27, $1.9 million is set aside for drainage improvements in Shockoe Bottom. And $3 million is earmarked for The Main Street Plaza, a kind of pedestrian connector between the 17th Street Farmer’s Market and an expanded Canal Walk. Norman describes the project as a “cathedral” walk marked by elaborate brickwork and lighting that compliments the $54 million Main Street Station across the street.