By: Ignacio Dayrit, Director of Programs
June 7, 2018
Redevelopment does not happen overnight, ideas evolve and dreams endure.
CCLR’s Vision-to-Action — V2A — brings together stakeholders to inspire better futures for their neighborhoods, such as Richmond’s 23rd Street, Calle 23, the heart of Richmond’s Latino business district.
A short walk from the Richmond BART station — a transit hub — and Civic Center, Calle 23 is a priority development area (PDA) targeted by regional planners. PDAs can capitalize on locational advantages that, with appropriate residential and job growth, create livable communities. The May 26th workshop followed another from March 31st where residents, businesses and property owners offered ideas on how to make that growth reflect the culture, diversity and needs of the 23rd Street corridor. Armed with community aspirations, the CCLR team developed short- and long-term reuse alternatives for two 23rd Street properties.
Start small and simple. Let interest in the neighborhood grow organically. As growth occurs, assess which growth options and business opportunities develop.
Using that principle, community and property owners embraced the proposals. The proposals involved activating the street by creating pods of activity — food, personal and neighborhood services — using temporary or semi-permanent structures. Think food trucks, maker space, active recreational people-watching, nail salons, and mini-retail. The activities can start slowly, e.g. twice monthly, and build up over time as neighborhood and market interest grow.
Turning this dream into reality will involve sweat, tears and a helping hand. EPA’s Brownfields Assessment Grant to the Bay Area Metro will help fund phase I and II assessments to facilitate planning, due diligence and property transactions. Grass roots, foundation and the public sector may also be needed to support organizational and logistical efforts to leverage private interest in redevelopment.
CCLR, community partner Urban Transformations, and the City of Richmond were joined by their partners and consultants, Callander Associates and Fregonese Associates. The 23rd Street Vision-to-Action project is funded by a grant from the U.S. EPA, with additional generous support from the Mary A. Crocker Trust, First Republic Bank, the Wells Fargo Foundation, the MUFG Union Bank Foundation, and the Beneficial State Bank Foundation.