Special/Signature Issues » And One to Grow On

17 Cases of Foreshadowing

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1. The Performing Arts Center (May 1983)

The old Loew's Theatre is reborn: "The much heralded opening of the Virginia Center for the Performing Arts is officially May 5 in a private affair for the folks who made it possible." Carol Channing in "Hello, Dolly!" is the first show open to the public.



2. Carytown (July/August 1984)

Carytown on the Rise. "I think Carytown is going to grow and there is going to be a real spurt of profits in the next 12 months." -- Jay Rostov, Carytown Coffee and Tea



3. The Diamond (May 7, 1985)

"It is almost a political miracle that Richmond has a ballpark and a baseball team to play in it. … Despite limitless opportunities to screw things up, the planners of the Diamond did not settle for an adequate job. The city has learned to reach for distinction." — Critique by Garrett Epps



4. The City Jail (Oct. 6, 1987)

Sheriff Andrew J. Winston: Keeping the lid on the City Jail. It is overcrowded, with 900 inmates existing in space meant for two-thirds that number. Perhaps the most graphic example of problems at the jail lies in the accidental releases this year of four inmates who still had time to serve.



5. The Floodwall (June 6, 1989)

The promise of security against flooding from Shockoe Bottom's up-and-coming floodwall is causing property values to rise faster than flood waters, and tenants are starting to worry about meeting climbing rents. [One big rain storm in 2004 wiped out pretty much everything below 18th Street.]



6. Disney Park (Jan. 25, 1994)

Saying that discussions are not serious, Hanover Supervisor William C. Frazier confirms what a lot of people in Hanover are saying — that the Walt Disney Corp. could be interested in a 3,000-acre estate there, located just one mile from Interstate 95 and five miles from Paramount's Kings Dominion.



7. Dave Matthews Band (Feb. 22, 1994)

Richmond Raves: With a record-breaking first disc out, Dave Matthews Band makes a triumphant return.



8. Main Street Station (March 28, 1995)

Timeline of Trouble: Can somebody lift Main Street Station's curse? A consultant says it's feasible to convert the old station into one that offers limited passenger rail service. Officials say it's a "feel good" project that preys on local nostalgia.



9. Motorola (Oct. 22, 1996)

The New West End: West Creek is a privately developed 3,500-acre commerce park and the magic kingdom for Motorola's proposed semiconductor plant. If and when the $3 billion Motorola plant emerges, it will pay half the taxes Goochland collects and add some 5,000 people to the county's daily work force, not to mention the thousands more jobs that are expected to follow in the techno-giant's wake. (At least we got White Oak.)



10. Tim Kaine (Feb. 3, 1998)

Tim Kaine, a white politician in a majority-black city, seeks his political future. He wants to be mayor, revitalize the position and create a new debate on what the powers and role of Richmond's mayor should be.



11. The Canal Walk (April 21, 1998)

Richmond's New Gold Coast: Will the canal development bring another boom in the Bottom or a riverside bust? "To suggest that just six or eight restaurants could survive downtown is just silly. For that to happen, you have to have a lot more people coming downtown." — Jimmy Sneed, former chef/owner of The Frog and the Redneck



12. Sa'ad El-Amin (May 12, 1998)

This Could Change Everything: Sa'ad El-Amin's presence on City Council is cheered by some, dreaded by others. One thing is certain: Council meetings are about to get much more interesting. "I don't want to create any hysteria. But somebody's going to have to convince me hard that this city needs a white mayor." — El-Amin



13. Richmond Radio (July 20, 1999)

Radio Free Richmond: Mediocrity abounds on Richmond's airwaves. Can a few independent efforts overcome corporate homogenization?



14. Cafine's (July 27, 1999)

Best of Richmond: Best Dance Club. For those of you who get your groove on the dance floor, Cafine's on Grace Street is the place to bump and grind.



15. Miller & Rhoads Hotel (Aug. 11, 2004)

A new study suggests that convention hotels, like the one planned for the old Miller & Rhoads department store downtown, do very little to increase convention traffic or lure more profitable conventions. "It doesn't seem to work that way these days," says University of Texas professor Heywood T. Sanders, an expert in convention economics.



16. Condos (June 7, 2006)

"Basically, you are seeing a glut coming onto the market, nationally and locally. Quite candidly, I don't feel like buying into a bubble." — Sam R. Worley, senior vice president and partner at Commonwealth Commercial Partners



17. Richmond Renaissance (June 21, 2006)

Richmond Renaissance will remain as a legal entity after its merger with Citycelebrations, the River District Alliance and Richmond Riverfront Corp. becomes official July 1. More importantly, perhaps, the merger marks a dramatic change in how the city's business elite influences city government, namely in the arena of economic development.



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