Central Business District
Bounded more or less by the James River, 14th Street, Broad Street and Belvidere, the CBD is served by Interstates 95, 64 and the Downtown Expressway. Home to the most vertical construction in the Metro, the CBD is home to both City and State Government and the VCU Medical Complex. Shockoe Slip is within the borders of the CBD.The CBD is home to the majority of the high rise office properties and little retail, other than restaurants, is prevalent within the district. Currently, many office properties are being converted to residential spaces to provide better balance to the area.
Located east of the CBD along the bend of the James River and perched high above Shockoe Bottom and Tobacco Row, Church Hill is one of the initial neighborhoods in Richmond with many structures dating back to into the mid 1800’s. Retail and office space is somewhat rare with the majority of the commercial property being smaller markets, restaurants and cafes.
Fan and Museum District
Located on the western edge of Downtown and extending to the Powhite Parkway, the Fan and Museum District are densely packed, urban mixed-use neighborhoods built largely in the early 20th Century. Comprised of mostly attached row homes and corner markets/restaurants to serve its residents, both of these neighborhoods are considered some of the most stable in Richmond.
The majority of the commercial properties are located along Broad Street, Cary and Main Streets (in the Fan) and within the Carytown District (in the Museum District.) The quirky and diverse Carytown is home to much of Richmond’s boutiques, locally-owned restaurants, second-hand stores and upscale local retailers.
Other notable commercial nodes are Robinson Street and the Uptown District. The Boulevard is home to many of Richmond’s finest museums, including the renown Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
Shockoe Bottom and Slip
The Shockoe area of Richmond (including both ‘The Slip’ and ‘The Bottom’) are located on the eastern edge of Downtown. Providing much of the entertainment (fine dining, smaller concert venues, clubs and lounges) in the Metro, the Shockoe area has always had a vibrant nightlife. The Tobacco Row sections (beginning in the 1800 block and moving east) began to convert to apartments and living spaces several decades ago. Beginning in the early 2000’s, the pace of apartment development reached a crescendo and resulted in over 2,000 net new units into the relatively small area. The mixed-use mandate from city hall saw that the commercial street level spaces were also added to create a more pedestrian friendly environment.
One of the most strategically situated neighborhoods in the Metro, Scotts Addition is bound by Broad Street, The Boulevard I95 and the Powhite Parkway. Developed in the early and middle 1900’s, Scotts is mostly comprised of 1 and 2 story warehouses built to be served by rail spurs. The neighborhood is in the midst of a conversion to loft apartments and other mixed-use properties largely through the use of historic tax credits. The proximity to the intersection of the major interstates and is location further west than the other warehouse districts has created development momentum.
Located on the north side of Richmond, Ginter Park and Bellevue are early 1900’s neighborhoods built along Brook Road, Hermitage Road and Chamberlayne Avenue. The neighborhood is largely residential with two notable commercial retail strips fronting both Bellvue and MacArthur Avenues. Many of the larger homes were torn down along Chamberlayne Avenue and apartments were built beginnning in the 1940’s effectively dividing the neighborhood.
Considered by many to be a part of Downtown, the Monroe Ward/Midtown area is located east of Belvidere and west of the CBD. Monroe Ward is home to many historic structures including the John Marshall Hotel (now apartments) and Jefferson Hotel. Recently, VCU’s Monroe Park Campus has leapfrogged Belvidere and begun to absorb many of the vacant lots in the area. Monroe Ward is home to a wide mix of commercial properties, including older high rise, 3 story residences converted to office uses, street level retail and several smaller local restaurants.
Located on the south banks of James River, Manchester is the only neighborhood south of the river considered to be a part of Downtown.
Most recently a warehouse district, Manchester received its designation as a Historic District in the early 2000’s and the conversion from industrial uses to residential and commercial uses began soon thereafter. Situated along Hull Street, 7th Street and Commerce Road, the Manchester District offers multiple access points to Downtown as well as some of the most spectacular vistas of the Richmond skyline.
The majority of the commercial development is residential apartments and street level retail. Some creative office exists within the district along with several structures which house artist studios.
Situated along the Libbie Avenue Corridor in Richmond’s West End (not to be confused with Henrico’s West End), the Libbie/Grove + Libbie Patterson Corridors are a collection of high end boutiques and specialty shops, restaurants and professional offices. Libbie Avenue connects and bisects many of the wealthiest residential areas of the city and as expected, a collection of upscale retail exists (especially along Grove Avenue) to serve the clientele.
The West End | Short Pump | Glen Allen | West Broad Street
How one defines ‘West End’ will be related to how long you have called Richmond home. As Richmond has grown west in Henrico County, the definition of ‘West End’ has changed along with it.
The West End is home to the majority of the region’s retail along West Broad Street. Broad Street is comprised of a mix of shopping malls, car dealerships and strip centers mostly filled with national (or regional) tenants. The aging sections east of Parham have higher vacancy with some re-vitalization efforts gaining traction.
As Broad Street forms the border between Glen Allen and The West End, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The Short Pump area is also another term used to describe the far reaches of West Broad near the Goochland County line.
Largely developed in the latter 1940’s and 1950’s, the Lakeside area is located in central Henrico near the I95. Lakeside is home to as much green space as anywhere in the Metro as it is adjacent to Bryan Park, Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens and both the Jefferson Lakeside and Belmont golf courses. The commercial areas are mostly retail and office along Lakeside Avenue. In the past decade, the area has experienced a rebirth as the affordable properties and strategic location made it attractive to smaller investors.
Located at the border of Chesterfield and the CIty of Richmond along Buford and Huguenot Roads, the Bon Air area has a wide range of retail spaces as well as some office options. Three strip centers and the Stony Point Fashion Mall all anchor the area with a great deal of upscale shops and boutiques due to the higher end residential that surrounds the zone. The ‘close-to-the-City’ location of Bon Air, as well as proximity to the James River along Cherokee Road and some of the best public schools in the area, has kept the residential prices high and thus the retail stable.
Midlothian | Chesterfield | Hull Street
The sprawling area of Midlothian is located in Chesterfield’s northwest corner and borders Powhatan and the River. Route 60 (Midlothian Turnpike) runs the entire length of Chesterfield and connects the city’s Southside to Midlothian along a retail stretch which, along with Hull Street (Route 360), provides the large majority of the commercial space in the county. The definition of what is considered to be Midlothian has expanded well to the south of Route 60 into what is now considered to be ‘Chesterfield’ and encompasses much of what borders Hull Street.
Along both Midlo Tpke. and Hull Street can be found car dealerships, movie theaters, strip centers, the Chesterfield Towne Center complex, grocery, big box, office parks along as well as some industrial pockets which make these stretches one of the primary commerce centers in the region. The furthest western areas, now connected to the western beltway of Route 288, are still in high growth mode near the Watkins Landing Center.
Jackson Ward and Historic Broad Street
Jackson Ward, located on the western edge of the BioTech Park and City Hall, was once a vibrant mixed use neighborhod with roots back into the late 1800’s. Filled with historic structures primarily along Broad Street as well as 2nd Street, JW is perhaps the most strategic neighborhood in the entire Metro as it borders both the Monroe Park and Medical Campus at VCU, City Hall and The BioTech Park. Interstate 95 can also be accessed via multiple exits and much of Downtown is just moments away.
Commercially, Jackson Ward contains many multi-family structures and many mixed-use properties along Broad Street. Several highly successful festivals (Broad Appetit and the First Friday Art Walk) help underpin the area. Many associate the JW neighborhood with the artistic community as many galleries are located between the 300 W and 100 E blocks of Broad and Marshall Streets.
VCU Monroe Park and Medical School Campus