Fredericksburg stands athwart the sluiceway of growth running from Northern Virginia south through Interstate 95, and the local Economic Development Authority is preparing itself for the inevitable. Instead of trying to halt growth, the the EDA has formed a JumpStart! committee to fogure out how to shape it.
Inspired perhaps by its beautiful historic downtown, JumpStart! is touting mixed-use development. That’s quite a departure from, and improvement upon, the gargantuan and ghastly Central Park retail complex across the Interstate. Thomas Crimmons, a member of the EDA, lays out his thinking in a column in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star:
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Mixed-use development creates neighborhoods that include open public space, recreation areas, housing, offices, and retail space, all in one development that has an architectural theme and beautiful landscaping.
Mixed-use projects create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods that allow people to live near where they work and shop….
The EDA is positioned to encourage, prod, advocate, lobby for “smart development,” and, when appropriate, finance mini projects throughout the city.