As we continue to celebrate CREW Richmond’s 30th
year, I can’t help but think about how much the City around us has grown and transformed over the past three decades. Neighborhoods that were once industrial hubs are now buzzing commercial and residential destinations. Over the next few months, I’ll be featuring some of Richmond’s most revitalized and transformed neighborhoods and discussing how these success stories can inspire us as we look forward to this new decade.
Scott’s Addition is nearly unrecognizable now compared to 1990. The area’s proximity to major highways and railroads made it an ideal location for light industrial plants and warehouses throughout the 1900s. As industry waned, new opportunity arose. Vacant industrial spaces caught the attention of developers and business owners seeking adaptive reuse and restoration opportunities in the City. Craft beer erupted onto the scene with the opening of Isley Brewing Company in 2013. Other craft breweries like Ardent Craft Ales soon followed and now the neighborhood boasts over 13 breweries, distilleries, and cideries.
Restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment venues like Bow Tie Movieland at Boulevard Square, River City Roll Bowling Alley, and The Circuit Arcade Bar soon moved into the area. The rapid influx of businesses created a demand for residential development within the neighborhood. Scott’s Addition soon became Richmond’s Fastest Growing neighborhood with over 3,500 new residents over the past seven years. Scott’s Addition has turned into a true mixed-use development, an area where people can live, work and play all in one place.
The exponential growth in Scott’s Addition has benefited the City as a whole, but it’s not without growing pains. The dramatic influx of pedestrian and vehicular traffic has led to an increased demand for sidewalk improvements, parking accommodations and traffic mitigation in the area. The area’s industrial roots have also translated to a lack of green space and park amenities within the neighborhood. These challenges have created opportunities for some developers, such as the proposed Belleville St. site
that would include an open park space for visitors and their pets. A multi-use path
has also been proposed that would increase pedestrian and bicycle access by connecting Scott’s Addition to surrounding neighborhoods.
The transformation of Scott’s Addition has inspired me, and I look forward to what the next 30 years will bring to our beloved City. As members of the commercial real estate world, we have the exciting opportunity to envision the future we want for our City and seek out opportunities that will bring these ideas to life. In closing, I ask you, in what neighborhoods do you see the most potential? What neighborhood do you think will be the next Scott’s Addition and what can we do to help it get there? I look forward to discussing these ideas with you soon!