Hats off to Capital Venture for its new investment in downtown Huntington at 8th Street and 4th Avenue. Focusing new developments on downtown revitalization and not more sprawl out Route 60 is a wise move. Saving a big building downtown will make our city more livable, safer, accessible and reduce the city’s climate impact. In addition to retail and offices, they will add more housing to our downtown, which is fantastic! The more people living and working in an area makes it difficult for those with nefarious motives to act and invites more people to do good work.
And putting the building downtown makes the area a destination people can walk, ride a bike or take a motorized wheelchair to and from their homes without having to make a dangerous crossing or go in an area without a sidewalk. Every person walking on the side of the road is a policy failure, in my opinion. Safety should never be a luxury.
Choosing to redevelop downtown vs. bulldozing a farm or forest off Route 60 increases our tax base without putting more cars on the road and increasing our carbon footprint with new construction.
Urban density is an asset to Huntington. That’s why our downtown is doing so well compared to cities that took the interstate through their neighborhoods or slapped together a mall downtown.
I hope this new development fleshes out the 8th Street and Old Main corridor and flips some of the buildings nearby. One thing their last project, The Market, desperately lacks that I hope to see at their new location: bike racks! When I am downtown the bike racks at Pullman are overflowing and people are chaining their bikes to the metal tugboat stands.