Growing a People-Centric Richmond
Jerry Jones Jr., Economic Development Director for Develop Richmond, sits and sips with Em and Aim this week as they talk about big things on the horizon in the small city of Richmond. With exciting developments and new projects springing up all the time, Jerry channels his expertise into building Richmond from the ground up and making people-centric places downtown. Talking points include new businesses, new buildings, and a new idea from Emily on why Richmond should be the Lantana Capital of Texas.
[00:00] Start of episode – Growing a People-Centric Richmond
[06:06] Understanding the meaning of Develop Richmond
[10:27] Eco-tourism, stay-cationing, & community prosperity
[33:14] Hinting at exciting new opportunities downtown
[36:32] Building spaces with people in mind
[45:27] Expanding community with new Richmond real-estate
[50:53] Understanding housing & financial limitations in placemaking
What is Develop Richmond?
Jerry doesn’t shy away from embodying the spirit of Richmond— and Develop Richmond is no exception. Ironically enough, no one asks Jerry what Develop Richmond does since its exceptional name change from Development Corporation of Richmond, as the purpose of encouraging more developments in the city feels baked into the name. However, Develop Richmond not only focuses on the city itself, but works on the outskirts to find places that are attractive and fitting to the area, like the Indigo community.
“The city has really become part of this conversation of saying, hey, let’s see how we can work out agreements in order to incorporate these areas into the city of Richmond.”
What is Placemaking and who benefits?
Simply put, placemaking is human-centric development. Developing Richmond goes hand-in-hand with local economics, especially when it comes to building eco-tourism, fostering the growth of small businesses, and creating jobs for the people that want to stay and live here. Jerry is quick to point out that placemaking and tourism isn’t just about what Richmond looks like from the outside, it’s about how people that live in the area can interact with these places and thrive from these improvements as well.
“We call it eco-tourism. Economic development and tourism have a very, very close relationship. If you have tourism, then you have businesses that are selling goods, sharing product.”
How do we build more people-oriented places in Richmond?
Richmond doesn’t have a public town square or a central meeting place. In fact, Jerry explains that downtown Richmond is due for a renaissance and more opportunities will continue to pop up for people and places to blend together. Partnering with local organizations, Jerry hopes to push through initiatives like renovating streets to have more green areas, spaces for kids at the local Farmer’s Market, and finding hubs for people to spend time together on Morton Street/
“Times are changing and evolving. And we’re now having to have those conversations about, how do we integrate people and places together? How do we make it accommodating for both to commingle and exist?”
Visit Develop Richmond at their website.