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Richmond, Virginia’s two-mile East End Transformation corridor plan, a 350-acre vision for a hospital campus– centered development in an economically challenged area, brought together residents, business owners, nonprofit leaders, and public officials around the common cause of health.
“The East End Transformation charrette set forth a vision to bring new jobs, physical and social investment, and prosperity to an area of Richmond that had long been forgotten,” says Ashley Peace, a former senior planner for the city.
“That hope has translated into new businesses on 25th Street, a booming and well-designed affordable infill housing market, hospital and related office expansion, and infrastructure investment—all standing on the foundation of the concepts drawn up at the charrette,” according to city policy advisor and neighborhood resident Mark Kronenthal.
The design session attracted 400 people to the opening presentation and strong participation throughout. That energy convinced health leaders to invest in the Richmond Community Hospital, the neighborhood’s largest employer—a facility that had recently been considered for closure. Thus the East End Medical Village was born, a modest and dispersed hospital expansion plan that reinforces the streetscape on Nine Mile Road, the primary commercial street.
The plan calls for 300-500 units of new housing. The charrette also created momentum for community leaders to pursue the redevelopment of the troubled 504-unit Creighton Court public housing project. The corridor improvements and traffic roundabout are under constructiont.
The 2-mile corridor is recognized as a necklace of civic, institutional, and commercial establishments. At one end is the renovated Armstrong High School, potentially converted into a health, wellness, and community-gathering center. At the center is the East End Square with the library and new grocery store. The 25th Street area receives a major plaza celebrating an important grouping of structures: a beloved gas station, a church, and the police station expansion sitting alongside a former grocery store re-imagined as an arts and learning center.
The East End Transformation combines individual projects—a medical village, public housing redevelopment, street improvements, public spaces, and more—to create something that is much greater than all of the pieces.
South Main #thisisCNU
Buena Vista, Colorado
Outside Buena Vista, Colorado, on the site of a former garbage dump, forty acres of riverfront land sat vacant for years. It took two nature-loving developers—risk-takers with a background as competitive kayakers—to see what it could become.
In a sector of Detroit with diverse assets— waterfront land, brick industrial buildings, greenways, and historic streets—but little economic activity, the Orleans Landing project creates top-of-the-line urbanism.