CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- A drive along Route 1 in Chesterfield County and you are sure to spot signs of change in multiple places along the Jeff Davis corridor. Those signs announce the opening of new businesses, restaurants, apartments, even construction on a Cinema Cafe.
"It's really exciting to finally see some things come to fruition and there’s much more to come," community activist Kim Marble said. "We are excited about working collaboratively with the community and with the county. Now we are looking for some good developers that don’t just want to make a buck, but want to make a difference here on the corridor."
Marble and other neighbors who live farther north have been working with Chesterfield County to help shape the vision for this corridor. Marble has lived off of Jeff Davis Highway for 25 years and has been really involved with the faith community, other neighbors, and the county to carry out the Northern Jeff Davis Special Area Plan created in 2018.
She called the revitalization a lengthy process, but said she believed the county was doing it’s part, tweaking an ordinance to allow for more multi-family housing.
"We are working together with the county to try and increase the density on the corridor," she said. "If we want more businesses to come, we have to have more people living here. So, this ordinance is going to help us to incentivize building some multi family and some mixed use."
Doing so, she said, would attract some of the businesses the area lacks.
"We would like to see more restaurants, a grocery store or a boutique grocery store come in," she said. "Bike shops and cafes, because we don’t have a place to have coffee up north. We are so excited about the many things that could happen."
Chesterfield supervisors will hold a October 23 public hearing about that ordinance amendment. County leaders said they too were excited about the re-shaping of the Jeff Davis corridor, even pointing out a new GRTC route that will run from Chippenham Parkway to John Tyler Community College. That service begins in the spring.