For Immediate Release: July 24, 2009 (Excerpts) — The Canal Walk has served as the economic engine spurring growth along the Riverfront with more than $390 million in private sector investment.
“I can remember the early planning stages for the Canal Walk and it is so exciting to be able to report on the tremendous success and growth that the project has generated for the Riverfront area so far,” said Mayor [Dwight] Jones. “It is clear why the total assessed value of our Riverfront development area has tripled, increasing from $242 million in 1998 to $757 million in 2009.”
The original economic impact of the Canal Walk area was projected at $450 million over a 10-15 year period. “We've already hit the $446 million mark in the first 10 years, and the redevelopment of the 6.6 acre Reynolds site will greatly magnify those numbers,” said Venture Richmond Executive Director Jack Berry. “These numbers don't include the economic impact of the residents, restaurants, workers, companies, nor the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to Downtown's historic Riverfront for festivals, outdoor activities, canal boat rides, history and even bird watching.”
“Our canal boat tours are setting new records, which reflects the growing attractiveness of downtown Richmond to tourists, visitors, and area residents,” says Berry. “All five canal boats have been fully restored, with new engines and gear, to meet the growing demand for charters and historic tours. I hope more people in the region will take advantage of the opportunity to experience the history of Richmond from the water.” — City of Richmond and Venture Richmond