Public meeting discusses arts district

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March 16, 2010

3:08 AM

City officials favor an area on Richmond Road, stretching from Casey Field to the new Walgreens for the location of the City of Williamsburg’s Arts District in a meeting March 2.

The Williamsburg City Council gave the city’s Economic Development Authority permission to research the creation of an arts district in December. Since then, a focus group of artists, bussinesspeople and community members has been established, and nonprofit real estate arts developer ArtSpace was hired to conduct a feasibility project in the city. ArtSpace toured the area and met with the focus group March 2 and 3.

The city held the meeting to give the public an opportunity to discuss the on-going project with representatives from ArtSpace. More than 100 people were in attendance.

The section of Richmond Road emerged as the favorite potential area for the arts district because it is already zoned as mixed-use property and is near dining locations and other shops, as well as transit stops.

The area is also full of vacant properties, a situation an arts district could alleviate.

City officials, as well as members of the community, hope that the arts district, if realized, would bring more business, and therefore revenue, to the city. Many believe the district would allow for more opportunities to enjoy the arts.

The city anticipates a report from ArtSpace in about six weeks.

Williamsburg Mayor Jeanne Zeidler M.A. ’76 could not be reached for comment.

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