Two Thoughts on Downtown Charlottesville’s Now & Future

Two questions from this week’s C-Ville struck me as they highlight the sort of crossroads at which Charlottesville finds itself.

First, in commenting on the closure of one of my all-time favorite Charlottesville restaurants, Eppie’s, which closed not from lack of business but from the owners wanting to do other things came this remark from the owner of the now-closed Cappellino’s Cupcakes:

“It got to the point where my business, along with others on the mall, aren’t what they used to be, and we are struggling,” he told C-VILLE at the time. Cappellino said shrinking foot traffic, the proposed meal tax hike and an increase in panhandling have made it harder to thrive on the mall.

And then this in discussing the temporary closure of Second Street (the one with Revolutionary Soup, the Alley Light, Christian’s Pizza) for the construction of the revamped movie theater:

With other massive construction projects looming around downtown including the Market Street Plaza on Water Street, Dunkle said she is particularly concerned that the city communicate more closely with area businesses likely to be affected before work is ever approved.

Charlottesville (City of) is at an interesting point in its history as West Main continues to grow and evolve, as does Downtown Charlottesville. Density increases, more pedestrian and bicycle demands

What does Charlottesville want to be in 20 years? 40? How will they interact with Albemarle?


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Also, are more chains in Charlottesville’s future?

This seems like poor planning. #Charlottesville

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3 Comments

  1. Jim Duncan June 3, 2015 at 17:25

    An offline commenter posits:

    Without better governance, I am afraid that the community’s
    treasures will continue to slip away. At the moment, there is no
    leadership stepping forward that can identify and articulate the very
    real problems that face the community. I have seen in the past five
    years a city government that has squandered hundreds of thousands of
    dollars in studies that have prevented practical and pragmatic
    implementation. We have a county government that is struggling to deal
    with an increase in low-income people who rent and do not pay property
    taxes but still require services.

    Reply
    1. Stormy June 4, 2015 at 15:57

      The massive inability of the city and county to work together on many items has the potential to doom our area. There’s so much that we could accomplish if leaders in both jurisdictions would work together rather than solely in individual interests. But that would require putting aside some long-held beliefs and some self-interests each jurisdiction holds.

      With regard to the Downtown Mall – we’re a few steps away from its being a lunchtime, Friday summertime, weekend tourist destination. Multiple employers are looking away from the Mall for lower rents/business costs, which will dry up foot traffic at lunchtime, which is for many establishments their busiest times.

      Reply
      1. Jim Duncan June 4, 2015 at 19:41

        The City and County need either a cohesive government system or one government; they are two entities that *need* to work together.

        I cringe when I read about City transportation planning with little to no regard for those who travel into and out of the City.

        As far as the downtown mall, I dunno … there are still some pretty big employers downtown …

        Reply

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