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.”