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First Phase Of Richmond's Southside Community Center Redevelopment Is Approved

The Richmond Planning Commission approved the first phase of redevelopment for the Southside Community Center on Monday.

The city has so far spent about $6 million to acquire and renovate the community center off of Hull Street. Still, much of the needed work remains unfunded. Under the approved plan, the city will soon demolish all of the buildings on the property, except for the gym and boxing trailer. The city lacks the money to replace those buildings and, currently, only the construction of a new skate park is planned to begin this year. 

Richmond City Council member Mike Jones, who represents parts of Southside, said it’s likely to be two to three years before the bulk of the work really begins. 

“I drive by this property just about every day and I know I’m going to look at a hole and this poorly constructed or facaded building," he said. "I’m just concerned about how this is going to look.” 

Jones said the current city government is doing the best it can with plans it inherited from the previous administration. Mayor Levar Stoney has requested an additional $14 million for the redevelopment in his proposed capital budget.

Demolition is expected to take place this summer and construction of the skate park will begin in October. Depending on how much funding is in the final budget, Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities could begin work on other planned developments including a playground, community garden, and basketball courts.



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