Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Commonwealth University’s governing board on Thursday approved a $3 billion “aspirational” master plan that would provide housing for an additional 1,300 students, increase parking for several thousand cars and build 3 million additional square feet of academic and research space. Link
The board of visitors Friday took a preliminary look at a master plan that would put a new School of Education building at Grace and Belvidere streets, enhance the presence of the School of the Arts on Broad Street, and redevelop the Franklin Street Gym as the new home for the College of Humanities and Sciences. Link
Some Richmond homeowners say VCU students can wreak havoc on their usually quiet neighborhoods. Residents in the Randolph community aren’t necessarily welcoming back the college-aged kids with open arms.
Basically it is impossible for Richmonders to get from one part of the city (downtown, Shockoes, Church Hill) to the other (Fan, Museum District, Near West End) without engaging a tolled expressway or contending with VCU traffic.
Some Fan neighbors say there’s been an improvement since the effort initiated in January. However, some say it’s still not enough to handle the overflow of junk that’s still left on the sidewalk. One mountain of moving-day debris can still be spotted, or smelled, on the 100 block Morris Street.
….The city also stepped up its efforts, sending 8,000 letters to property owners in the Fan, Carver and Oregon Hill neighborhoods asking them to comply with trash ordinances or risk being cited…. timesdispatch.com
Approval waives zoning and allows residential use in industrial zone.
…Councilman E. Martin Jewell urged his colleagues to reject the project, saying the city had failed to plan for VCU’s growth and that Carver residents were put in an unfair position of having to fight over a special-use permit for the gritty, industrial block.
Critics argued that the development would be out of character for the neighborhood and that the eight student-housing projects already developed are enough.
via Richmond Times-Dispatch.
These days, Carver is ground zero for Richmond’s gentrification battles, its quest to attract middle-class families and its unending wonder about what, exactly, the city should do with all those college students.