The proposed Richmond BridgePark will repurpose a portion of the existing Manchester Road Bridge, which spans the James River, to create a pedestrian and bicycle pathway linking Downtown Richmond and the neighborhood of Manchester. This pathway will extend on both sides on the James River, into Downtown and Manchester, respectively, creating both a destination and a new corridor linking new transportation infrastructure and development projects.
The BridgePark has the potential to stimulate new economic activity and increase property values along this corridor by enhancing the public realm, attracting new residents and businesses, increasing tourism, and improving transportation access for those living and working in the area. BridgePark could serve as a highly visible and functional link between the original commercial districts of Richmond, actively pushing forward the expansion of Downtown across the river.
Richmond’s population has grown steadily over the past two decades, outpacing that of both Virginia and the US as a whole. This trend has been especially pronounced in the Downtown Richmond neighborhood, which has nearly tripled in size since the early 2000s. Although the majority of the city’s population still resides outside of the Downtown area and have historically preferred single-family homes, this trend shows no signs of abating, as a relatively large number of new multifamily residential buildings have been recently completed in northern Manchester and along both sides of the James River.
BuroHappold performed extensive research and analysis to provide high-level understanding of the potential economic and social benefits of the BridgePark as they pertain to property values and subsequent tax revenue, increased competitiveness for job attraction and retention, alignment with the City of Richmond’s goals for public transportation and bicycle use, and increased tourism to the James River and other destinations along the BridgePark corridor.
This work included an evaluation of demographic, employment, transportation, and real estate trends in Downtown and Manchester, and the Richmond Metropolitan Area. Our experts studied commuting patterns for residents and commuters within the vicinity of the BridgePark, and performed an analysis of vacant and underutilized properties along the BridgePark corridor to estimate the impact of potential new development. The latter was explored further to estimate future property values and incremental property value uplift as a result of the BridgePark.
BuroHappold found that the BridgePark could stimulate significant new economic activity and increase property values along this corridor by enhancing the public realm, attracting new residents and businesses, increasing tourism, and improving transportation access for those living and working in the area. Vacant and underutilized properties along the BridgePark corridor could support more than 400 new residential units and more than 300,000 square feet of new commercial retail and office space. If realized, this would generate more than $10 million in new tax revenue from the City, and more than $40 million in new retail activity.
The BridgePark would create a north-south connection for the more than 7,000 residents who commute across the River and are within a 30-minute bike ride of their places of employment. Further, as Downtown and Manchester continue to grow, this connection can help alleviate vehicular congestion and facilitate connections to other public transportation services. In doing so, the BridgePark would serve as a highly beneficial link between the original commercial districts of Richmond, catalyzing the expansion of Downtown across the river.
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