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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Urbane Renewal 2 - Shockoe Bottom

With the exception of the flood plain itself, the high ground surrounding Shockoe Bottom itself is chock full of new living spaces with more on the drawing board. While the economy has slowed, the Shockoe area is still attracting new residents. My 2nd stop on the loft tour was on 19 street just above the market and possible new baseball stadium.

  • Shockoe Valley Lofts are nothing to look at from the outside with plain white rectangular porches facing the streets. Once inside, these modest size residences become more modern and inviting. The first unit had an tidy kitchen with modern appliances and a breakfast bar
From the inside those nondescript porches blossomed into this pleasant sitting area.

As you would expect, residents here were younger and attracted by the mix of clubs and restaurants nearby. On the whole it was a much more livable neighborhood with more of the minimum requirements for everyday living than Manchester. Groceries, pizza, a health club and the river are short trips by car, foot or bicycle.

The views are a mix of industrial, 19th century streetscapes and downtown high rises of the city center towering above. One additional view not shown would be of left field in the new ballpark, which would make it a unique place to live, attractive to some but not all.

  • Sterling Row, across the street and down the block is actually new construction that blends in well with the neighborhood. Great interiors, cozy living spaces and downtown views are all standard.

The circular stairway to the roof deck was challenging and made me wonder just how you would carry hors d'oeuvres and drinks there, but the destination was worth the effort.

Not sure I'd want to live here, but that wasn't the point of this trip. Many people do and I got peeks into homes and lifestyles I otherwise wouldn't.

The next two stops were definitely the most unique and spectacular, Gotham on Main St and Vistas on the James, which definitely earned it's name. I'm going to do my homework and get those out today. There's too much happening in Richmond and it's time to move on.

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ShockoeBottomDweller said...

All that money to live in a construction zone I think that won't happen. Those living there will leave and others who would pay the high prices they would charge will decide to go elsewhere. Wait the Ballpark will appear overnight as if by magic. not the 5 to 10 years it will really take

Paul Hammond said...

I'm never sure how to reply to you, but here goes. All vital cities are works under construction and reconstruction. Walk around Manhattan, Chicago or DC and you will see cranes, scaffolding and new construction everywhere. Something else you will see are people, lots of them, things to do and places to shop. Of course, that's not for everybody and there are plenty of other options available, but a lot of people want to be part of something new and exciting and are willing to tolerate the inconvenience that comes with it.

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