A pretty nervy redevelopment plan for the south side of downtown has been proposed, Brian Wheeler reports for Charlottesville Tomorrow. An architecture firm was hired by the city to envision how to overhaul the area encompassing the Ix Building, Crescent Hall, and Friendship Court, a pretty broad swath of the greater downtown area. The plan calls for the construction of 1,300 new housing units, 1.4 million square feet of commercial space, and bringing Pollocks Branch (a stream long ago buried in pipes) back to the surface as a linear park running through the whole area. It’s all meant, of course, to be pedestrian-friendly. The rendering shows Friendship Court completely gone, replaced with the housing units—surely an alarming image to residents of the low-income neighborhood, although the involvement of the Piedmont Housing Alliance (which manages Friendship Court) in the project is probably a good sign.
At this point it’s all just a vision—there is no developer proposing to do this, and no public funding available to kick-start such work. It’s what the city is calling a “Strategic Investment Area,” and presumably if City Council wants to make this happen, they’ll start shaping planning and development guidance to facilitate that.
2 thoughts on “South Downtown Redevelopment Planned”
Why does the concept show people skipping around amongst pools of water? The fountains on the central plaza in the Downtown Mall are chained off so people don’t go in them. Are we supposed to believe that it’ll be ok to play in the pools in this newly envisioned space? I’d like to see those concept drawings redone with chain barriers added in, to match the central plaza’s fountain. Then we’ll see how much people like it.
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