It’s been more than a decade since the long, often bitter debate over Village Center, its appropriateness for downtown Riverside and what it meant for the future.
Now there may be an opportunity for more large-scale development on East Burlington Street with PNC Bank’s announcement that it is leaving in May. Of course, there are no guarantees for the future of three adjacent, soon-to-be-vacant properties. Nothing’s actually on the market and one is tied up in the courts.
The thought of such a development, which would reshape the downtown, might make some people nervous. That’s understandable. But the three properties and their small, boxy buildings ringed with ribbons of parking are from another time, one that no longer exists.
Riverside is attempting to create a new image for its downtown, based on the comprehensive plan adopted five years ago. If nothing else, it would be fascinating to see the discussion should someone acquire all three properties with an aim toward redevelopment.
Here’s hoping Riverside gets the chance.