|The privately-owned parcels in yellow above and several more just south between Grace and E. Franklin (not shown) are slated for acquisition to complete the memorial park and heritage campus.|
On Monday, Jan. 4, Ord. 2020-262 was passed without discussion by the city's Planning Commission. This makes the third ordinance passed by the city which takes concrete steps toward securing the establishment of the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park. Ord. 2020-194 committed $1.7 million (from surplus delinquent tax funds) to the land acquisition and design of the park along with other improvements to the sites along the Slave Trail. Ord. 2020-051 added the Memorial Park to the Capital Improvement budget that already included the Devil's Half Acre museum project. Ord. 202-213 expanded the Slave Trail to include the Shockoe Hill African Burying Ground (1305 N. 5th St.) and there is talk of the East Marshall Street Well also being added.
Ord. 2020-262 calls for the parcels to be acquired by arrangement with the current owners, with the final purchase price to be established upon current market assessment. If the city and sellers cannot come to an agreement on the purchase price, it is possible that the eminent domain process could be utilized. Please see the Richmond Free Press story from the Dec. 31st issue.Please convey your support and appreciation for this progress in the establishment of the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park by sending messages of support to your city council members and Mayor Stoney.