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City of Richmond officially solicits proposals for plan to replace Coliseum and revitalize surrounding area

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney held a press conference at City Hall Thursday morning, announcing a 90-day window for developers to submit proposals to replace the aging Coliseum, build a new hotel to serve the Convention Center, replace the GRTC transfer station, and more.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney today held a press conference formally announcing the city has posted a request for proposals to spur redevelopment of a significant portion of real estate located in the neighborhood north of Broad Street in downtown Richmond.

The plan would see the replacement of the aging Richmond Coliseum, a structure that many say has long since reached the end of its useful life.

The RFP addresses a project area that is generally bounded on the west by North 5th Street, on the north by East Leigh Street, on the east by North 10th Street, and on the south by East Marshall Street. The project area consists of properties that have been identified as an economic opportunity area in the Pulse Corridor Plan, which was recently adopted by City Council as part of the City’s Master Plan.

The North of Broad/Downtown Neighborhood Redevelopment Project will include a number of economic development components aimed at revitalizing underutilized city assets and improving the quality of life for Richmond residents in the areas of employment, housing and transportation.

Components to be addressed by potential respondents include:

  • Replacement of the Richmond Coliseum
  • Mixed income and affordable housing
  • Local job creation and local hiring with Minority Business Enterprise and ESB participation goals
  • Replacement of the GRTC transfer station
  • A Convention Center hotel
  • Historic preservation and adaptive reuse of the Blues Armory

“The goals of this RFP are bold,” said Mayor Stoney, but provide an opportunity to achieve a number of strategic objectives for the City. “To expand economic development and affordable housing opportunities; to generate revenue while achieving poverty mitigation through jobs and training; to provide historic preservation and community revitalization, to promote and support tourism, and to ensure sustainable development and investments in infrastructure.”

The City of Richmond will not use existing tax revenue or debt capacity to fund the project, nor will it incur any moral or general obligation bonds to fund any private component of a proposal, but Stoney said the city is willing to consider proposals that incorporate tax increment financing or the creation of special service districts.

“We have too much to do for schools, housing, roads and other city priorities to leverage our limited borrowing capacity for this redevelopment,” Stoney continued, underscoring the city’s stance.

Prospective developers will have 90 days to submit proposals. A copy of the RFP can be found here.

“We are setting a high bar for our respondents,” said Stoney. “But that’s what we have to do if we want true neighborhood revitalization. This is a great opportunity for our city, and we want all of Richmond to benefit. By leveraging City-owned land, we can achieve transformational change. We look forward to receiving proposals that will continue our growth and serve the best interests of Richmond.”

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market planning to double size of Short Pump store

Construction on an expansion of the locally-owned store should commence this Spring.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market, which has operated in western Henrico County since 2004, is getting bigger.

The 15,000-square-foot market will nearly double in size when the store expansion project is completed later this year, owner Tom Leonard said.

Construction should begin late in the spring.

The expansion will take over the tented area to the left of the store – where pumpkins and Christmas trees are typically sold.

The added space will enable the market, off Tom Leonard Drive, to expand and move its bakery and deli departments into the new space. The bakery will be able to make fresh-boiled bagels – “the way they do them in New York,” Leonard said.

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Richmond-based company launching digital TV streaming network today with event at VMHC

Richmond-based Soulidifly Productions will launch the new streaming TV network today and is throwing a launch party tonight in celebration.

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Richmond based Soulidifly Productions is launching a new digital TV streaming network today known as SoulVision.TV. The new network will feature over 200 hours of “authentic, positive, and often untold human stories shown in feature films and movies, TV shows, news, interviews, cartoons, and more,” according to a news release.

The network will be accessible from all devices including all leading streaming platforms – Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire – and on all mobile platforms, tablets and other devices including smart TVs and home computers.

Entertainers Cecily, Carla Jackson, JJ Squire, and vocalist Imani Waters will headline an event this evening at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture ahead of the network’s launch.

The event takes place beginning at 6:30 PM at the museum at 428 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard. Tickets are $20; $10 for students. Attendees can also get complimentary tickets by entering code “SVTV” on the ticketing page.

Learn more and get tickets here and check out a preview of the new network below.

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Henrico clears the way for redevelopment of Azalea Mall, Virginia Center Commons sites

Two derelict properties in the Northside of town will soon have new life breathed into them as Henrico greenlit their redevelopment Tuesday.

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From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

As Henrico County officials are preparing for the redevelopment of Virginia Center Commons with a public arena, the operators of a senior living community are ready to expand on top of land where another county mall was demolished in 1999.

On Tuesday, the Henrico Board of Supervisors approved zoning and permit changes to let Westminster Canterbury of Richmond expand its continuing-care retirement community over part of the lot where Azalea Mall once stood. The board also voted to authorize the use of $50 million to build an indoor sports arena at Virginia Center Commons.

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