Dozens of Richmond residents gathered along Arthur Ashe Boulevard yesterday evening to protest a proposal that is set to establish a casino venue at the site of Bow Tie Cinemas.
The organizers of the protest published a post on Facebook, saying that the planned location revealed by the Cordish Companies’ Live! Casino and Resort would result in traffic issues and take away business from some local establishments. On the other hand, the company that had come up with the project explained that the suggested site was chosen because of its proximity to I-95 and I-65 and its ability to connect Richmond.
So, last night, around 50 people gathered to protest the casino proposal. The protesters shared their worries that the planned casino would have a negative impact on local businesses that have worked for years to establish themselves in the area. Local people fear that the addition of a casino venue at the site would hurt the community and would have a detrimental impact on small businesses.
According to local people, a casino venue does not belong in a neighborhood. Still, some of them support one other proposal, which seeks to establish a casino venue on the south side, saying in this case they choose the lesser of the two evils.
Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association Does Not Oppose the Casino Project
According to a local resident, Jonathan Marcus, 9 of the 18 neighborhoods in the area have already released statements against the proposal, including the Historic West Grace Center and the Fan District Association.
Reportedly, the proposal has faced a significant wave of opposition. As mentioned above, local residents fear that the addition of a casino establishment would bring too much traffic that would overwhelm the street, not to mention the fact that the venue would probably attract thousands of people on weekends.
During an online meeting with the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association that took place on April 7th, The Cordish Companies that is proposing the casino explained that the convention center and upscale hotel that come along with the casino project would be beneficial for the neighborhood. Rob Norton, a developer at Cordish, said that the project brought an excellent opportunity to not only bring a fresh money flow to the city’s coffers through taxes but also to generate spin-off economic development for the entire area.
For the time being, the Scott’s Addition Boulevard Association has revealed that it will not oppose the project following a 10-9 split vote.
Unfortunately for the developers, their casino project in Richmond still faces much opposition. Many residents have shared fears that despite the tax revenue that is expected to be brought by the casino, there would be too many harms associated with the construction. In the election ballot in November, local voters are set to decide whether or not they will allow a casino to be brought to the city, although the Richmond City Council has still not decided which one of the two proposals will have a better chance.