With developers that wanted to breathe new life into Shockoe Bottom having pulled plans for a new baseball stadium there yesterday, officials today unveiled a proposal for a top-off-the-line, 100-percent pure asphalt parking lot in the historic downtown area.
The lot would feature 114,00 square-feet – roughly two football fields – of hot-mix asphalt painted with white lines to designate parking spaces, according to a proposal submitted to the city earlier today by Henrico County-based Mike’s Asphalt Inc. The lot would also be surrounded with a chain-link fence, and possibly some barbed wire across the top to keep out trespassers.
“A parking lot like the one we have proposed would be perfect for this area and give people who decide to come to the Bottom a place to park, as well as an exquisite block of asphalt to admire,” said Mike Clary, who has owned and operated Mike’s Asphalt for the past 13 years.
“It’ll also be a great place for tourists and residents alike to visit and take in the historic, numerous missed opportunities of this part of town,” he added.
The proposed lot will feature a diagonal pattern, designed exclusively for one-way traffic. It will be able to hold up to 3,000 vehicles, though is never expected to reach more than 10 percent capacity.
Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones praised the parking lot idea as “a huge step forward” to ensure that the downtown area does not take any huge steps forward.
“I know that myself and many other city leaders were concerned that we might actually land a project that would help revitalize downtown,” the mayor said in a statement. “Thankfully, with the ballpark developers having left Richmond and this parking lot proposal on the table, we can guarantee that most of Shockoe Bottom will remain a run-down, washed-up shit-hole for years to come.”