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New voices being heard for new Charleston redevelopment projects

Good News with 13

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The City of Charleston is wiping the slate clean in the way it handles redevelopment projects.

The Charleston Land Reuse Agency (CLRA) is now including input from the public to help create new opportunities that will better serve the community.

CLRA Chair, Kevin Baker said they had planned to hold community meetings, go door to door in neighborhoods and talk to folks, but with COVID-19, it felt like that wasn’t the best approach.

So CLRA went to the drawing board, literally, to get ideas for its first redevelopment project – the former Abraham’s Grocery and Park Place Bar on Charleston’s West Side.

A chalkboard was placed outside the building for community members to jot down their suggestions while passing by.

“There’s a QR code on the board, so you can scan that and fill out the survey online if you rather do it that way,” said Baker.

More than 60 ideas were submitted and the two most common facilities the community would like to see built are a youth center or space for job preparedness.

West Side resident, John Goode said a job preparedness space is a good idea.

“They need tools in order to go to the next step of their life instead of just being out on the street.”

The next step is seeking specific proposals for 739 Central Avenue that best suit the space and the interests of the community.

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin said, “this is a major project that will require creative partnerships and a shared vision for the future of this space.”

In addition, the CLRA will be seeking input on another donated property at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 30th Street in North Charleston.

In the coming two week, feedback will be accepted on both the chalkboard and online survey.

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