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Awaiting vision of Boulevard’s future

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)–If the baseball stadium moves to Shockoe, what is next for the Boulevard?

While Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood took center stage Monday, another neighborhood stood quiet, patiently watching and waiting to hear its fate.

“I was listening intently, and I didn’t hear anything about the Boulevard,” local developer Charlie Diradour with Lion’s Paw Development said.

City Council members said they are still waiting to hear the mayor’s plans for the area too.

“What happens on the Boulevard is still a big question mark for a lot of us,” City Council President, Charles Samuels said.

If the city votes in favor of moving its baseball stadium to Shockoe Bottom, business owner Patrick Stamper wants leaders to move quickly on deciding what to do with the stadium site and neighboring properties.

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“It could be a lot more than a year you never know, especially, the way things move in Richmond–it could be quite some time,” Stamper said, who owns the recently opened restaurant En Su Boca, located on the Boulevard.

Council member Ellen Robertson said she sees a large shopping area in the Boulevard’s future.

“It would be wonderful to have a service retail center where Richmonders feel they can go to do regular shopping,” said Robertson.

And, for longtime Northside resident Sam Scribner, it is an opportunity to finally join his neighborhood with another vibrant pocket of the city.

“Bring people out of the Fan, out of Northside, and connect those two areas,” said Scribner.

But, for now, it is the mayor who is at bat.

“It’s on the mayor now to follow up with, and here is the rest of the story,” said Diradour.

In his role as a developer, Diradour said he is urging the city not to turn the boulevard neighborhood into a Short Pump-type shopping mall.