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Richmond’s Greater Fulton community looking forward to a strong Pulse

Richmond’s Greater Fulton community looking forward to a strong Pulse

Richmond is a vibrant city on the move.  We were recently named one of the Top Destinations in the World to visit in 2016 by Travel & Leisure Magazine and one of America’s Top 5 Cities to keep on your radar by Huffington Post.   We have a rich cultural and arts community, and four Universities enrolling more than 45,000 students. 

Richmond skyline

While Richmond has numerous great attributes, we also have a 26% poverty rate. And since taking office in 2009, reducing our poverty rate has been one of my top priorities.  Investments that expand the tax base while also enhancing communities are critical to these efforts.

That is why I am thrilled about LadderSTEP and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s investment in Richmond’s Greater Fulton community.

Greater Fulton is a diverse and growing community in Richmond’s East End. Our neighborhoods are rich with history and Greater Fulton is no exception.  With its unique topography and proximity to the James River, Greater Fulton once served as a bustling community with industrial, commercial, and residential uses.  Like many African-American neighborhoods in this country, Greater Fulton was negatively affected by the urban renewal initiatives of the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Then, in the 1970’s, damaging floods destroyed many of Greater Fulton’s homes and businesses.  Since that time, the area’s revitalization has progressed slowly. 

G.R.T.C. bus rapid transit logo

Now, with the assistance of LadderSTEP and DOT, Richmond is poised to leverage several major projects into a Greater Fulton renaissance.   In September 2014, DOT awarded the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC) a $24.9 million TIGER grant to support Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The BRT line - named “Pulse” - will offer frequent, reliable, and fast service, providing residents with access to 77,000 area employment opportunities within a half-mile of project stations along the 7.6 mile corridor.  Technical assistance provided through FTA will aid our transit-oriented development goals along the corridor as well as connectivity throughout the city.  The “Pulse” is also expected to create more than 400 good jobs and increase property values by $1.1 billion over the next 20 years. 

In October 2014, America’s 9th largest craft brewery, Stone Brewing Co., decided that Greater Fulton was the right place for their East Coast production and distribution center.  A winning attraction for Stone was the “Pulse,” which will run directly adjacent to the property.   Stone views the “Pulse” as an important and sustainable way to provide access to the jobs they would create and transportation for customers visiting their facilities.  The Stone project itself is a $74 million investment and will create 288 new jobs.

These are transformative projects for Richmond. They not only create jobs, but increase access to jobs through business attraction and accessible transportation options. 

Richmond is looking forward to celebrating with Stone in its new East Coast home, beginning construction on the “Pulse,” and ensuring that we provide the best transit services possible for all Richmond residents –particularly those who rely on it the most.

That would not be happening without the support of LadderSTEP and DOT.

Dwight C. Jones is Mayor of Richmond, Virginia

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