ChamberRVA members tour Jeff Davis corridor in Southside Richmond with city leadership

Visit highlighted key area issues and current development projects

ChamberRVA members had the opportunity to visit impactful sites along Jefferson Davis Highway in Southside Richmond alongside city leadership. The Chamber hosted a bus tour of the corridor on October 9 that visited an area school, the Panattoni development, the American Tobacco development and area housing to discuss timely issues including education, housing, transportation and the Richmond Marine Terminal. The event was sponsored by Trane and featured speakers from the City of Richmond, GRTC, the Port of Virginia, Communities in Schools Richmond and others.

The bus tour examined the existing and longstanding challenges along the Jeff Davis corridor while bringing awareness to current work to address these issues. After meeting at Greene Elementary School, members boarded buses provided by GRTC to visit the Richmond Marine Terminal, the Panattoni Development, the American Tobacco Development, and both new and aging area housing.

Speakers from the City of Richmond included Superintendent Jason Kamras, School Board Chair Dawn Page, 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell and 6th District Councilwoman Ellen Robertson. Community and business speakers included Rachel Burgess of SIR and the ChamberRVA Richmond Cabinet, Carrie Rose Pace of GRTC, Dustin Rinehart of the Port of Virginia, Mark Hourigan of Hourigan, Bill Martin of the Valentine, Harold Fitrer of Communities in Schools Richmond and Suzanne Keeley of Communities in Schools Richmond.

“The Jefferson Davis corridor is an important part of our city with a long history,” said Rachel Burgess, chair of ChamberRVA’s Richmond Cabinet and principal at SIR. “With so much of the community’s focus on the challenges faced by the area, we want to acknowledge and understand these realities while bringing awareness to the work that’s being done to address them.”

Such work includes the Panattoni development, a 1-million-square-foot distribution center across from Richmond Marine Terminal, and the American Tobacco development, a project to convert an old tobacco warehouse into 159 low-income apartments. Richmond Marine Terminal is also seeing an exciting transition; ChamberRVA released a whitepaper earlier this year on how to maximize all the economic development opportunities presented by the City of Richmond’s recent 40-year lease with the Port of Virginia.

“This is a time of transition for the Jeff Davis corridor, which means it’s a time of opportunity” said Pat Gottschalk, chair of the ChamberRVA board and partner at Williams Mullen. “Reinvestment in the area allows us to address longstanding problems, with a vision of returning the corridor to the thriving area it’s been before. The Chamber is excited to offer this bus tour to members to show them how advocacy and leadership are making an impact in the Richmond community.”

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About ChamberRVA: ChamberRVA is the chamber of commerce representing the entire greater Richmond region – one city, seven counties and one town – since 1867. The chamber’s mission is to build a thriving regional community by supporting the success of members, providing a strong business voice and developing RVA’s future leaders. Learn more about ChamberRVA at chamberrva.com.

Contact: John Easter, john.easter@chamberrva.com, 804-783-9321.

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