SHOCKOE BASEBALL CRIME - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Is Shockoe Bottom safe enough for a stadium?


A crime alert in Shockoe Bottom is raising concerns, as plans to build a baseball stadium downtown, continue to be promoted.

A shooting happened on North 18th Street, around 3 a.m, Thursday morning. The victim survived, but support for the mayor's development plans could be shaken up.

However, many businesses are still rooting for the big development in the Bottom, posting signs on storefronts, in support of the plan. A baseball stadium surrounded by stores and a hotel would be a grand slam for business in the area.

"The ability to make it mixed retail, getting the farmer's market up and going, and getting this area not to be as transient," described Europa Restaurant owner Anthony Deyerle, of how he believes a new development in Shockoe Bottom would revitalize the neighborhood.

Deyerle believes Shockoe Bottom often gets an unfair reputation.

"Crime happens. It's a downtown environment. It's going to happen. I just think it's unfortunate when something happens downtown. I just feel like it gets blown up," continued Deyerle.

The latest crime was Thursday morning's violent robbery.

A man walking down North 18th street was robbed and shot by two other men. The victim survived. However, is the idea of a family-friendly Shockoe Bottom still alive?

"There are things that do happen in this area. There are people…who are hungry and just having a tough time right now… and desperate times call for desperate measures," said Josiah Goins, who lives and works in Shockoe Bottom.

Businesses are joining together to back the mayor's plan to "Revitalize RVA" with the new baseball field in Shockoe Bottom. The Old City Bar's owner, David Napier, is certain his bar would get more business.

"If you look at Durham, if you look at Tulsa, Oklahoma… They're places where similar developments have worked very well in transforming the city," said Napier.

Perhaps sentiments on the neighborhood also need to be transformed.

"…Break down those barriers that people think that downtown is unsafe," said Deyerle.

Richmond police report that last year the Shockoe Bottom area had about a 20 percent decrease in crime, from the year before.

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