In 2004 Richmond’s historic Shockoe Bottom was devastated by Hurricane Gaston. Drainage systems malfunctioned and overflowed, and floodwater ran freely through the streets causing extensive damage to businesses. Four years later, the area is showing a few signs of recovery, but the vacancy rate hovers above 20%. Turnover in restaurants and bars is high.
The farther east you walk down Broad Street and away from VCU, the more beat up and empty it gets. There are “For Sale” signs, “For Lease” signs, and signs simply marked “Closed.” Some buildings are boarded up with plywood, others with construction paper and tape. And that’s a significant improvement from even a few… Read more »
A young man no more than 14 greets customers at the Williams Plaza and Auto Center on Richmond’s South Side. He sizes up one customer’s car, and by association its driver. So does everyone else at the combination workshop / parking lot. “What do you need?” he asks. But then he finds out the driver… Read more »
The boxes, cartons and cans at the grocery stores are getting smaller – although you have to look really carefully to notice. As reported by MSNBC, manufacturers have begun “short-sizing” their products. The practice consists of cutting down the amount of stuff they put into their packages in order to keep costs down. In the… Read more »
Heading east along Carytown, for every 10 to 15 occupied buildings there’s a vacant one with a placard inviting you to call a commercial real estate broker. Richmond BizSense did an unofficial count of the store fronts in Carytown: 142 occupied buildings, 22 vacant buildings. That makes for a total of 164 buildings, 22 of… Read more »
A Newport News store owner went all Wild-West – sleeping inside his store with a loaded pistol and lying in wait for thieves to try and rob him again. The Daily Press reports that Thompson’s long nights paid off. “I got my pistol and told him to go to the ground,” said Thompson, owner of… Read more »