Shockoe Bottom business owners address crime, construction impacting area

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Shockoe Bottom business owners met Wednesday to address the impact of recent crime and construction in the area.

David Napier, owner of Old City Bar and President of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association, said he wants local business owners to come together and find a solution to the problems affecting the neighborhood.

“We’re going to have a neighborhood meeting and everyone’s welcome to just talk about how we can work together instead of against each other to make things better around here,” Napier said.

Napier said the neighborhood is no stranger to crime, but the triple shooting that happened near 17th Street Farmer’s Market, more than a week ago, put safety and security in question.

“Sooner or later it’s bad for the clubs to have this kind of behavior down here, too, and they know it,” Napier said, “and they’re very defensive right now and I can understand that everybody has to make a living but going for the lowest common denominator is not what Shockoe Bottom is about.”

He said in addition to the crime, construction in the area is also impacting businesses. The city is planning to start a 220-day construction project in July. The area already has ‘no parking’ and ‘road closed’ signs on N 17th and E Franklin Streets.

“Well, we’ll get the crime thing fixed. We’ve been through this before and we’re seasoned and we’ll get it fixed,” Napier said. “The construction is necessary. The two combined make it difficult. People don’t know where exactly to enter Shockoe Bottom and where to park and it’s tough on the businesses but hopefully, the construction guys are moving along quickly. They’ll get that piece wrapped up and they’ll get the streets back open on Franklin (Street) side. It’s just tough.”

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