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Spy Rock Real Estate Group breaks ground on UMFS West Broad Street Campus

A collaboration that will transform the lives of children and their families, while also reimagining one of the last undeveloped blocks of West Broad Street, has begun.

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A collaboration that will transform the lives of children and their families, while also reimagining one of the last undeveloped blocks of West Broad Street, has begun.

As UMFS approaches its 120th anniversary in 2020, it’s embarking on a long-term land-lease with Spy Rock Real Estate Group to kick off a capital campaign aimed at upgrading its Richmond campus. The long-term lease will help fund an 18-24-month campus transformation, UMFS’ first major upgrade in 65 years.

“UMFS is experiencing tremendous growth, and as a part of that growth, we’re upgrading our facilities,” said Greg Peters, president and CEO of UMFS.  “We have been right here on Broad Street for nearly 120 years. We’re excited about increasing our visibility and expanding our services for the future.”

The 99-year land lease allows Spy Rock Real Estate Group to develop the field at the front of UMFS’ 33-acre campus, located at West Broad and North Hamilton streets across Interstate 195 from Scott’s Addition. Spy Rock’s 4.5-acre development includes plans for two, four-story mixed-use buildings that will feature one- and two-bedroom apartments, ground-floor commercial space for offices, a full-service restaurant and a fast-casual/coffee shop, as well as a hotel fronting West Broad Street.

The project will break ground this month and is expected to take 18-24 months.

“We couldn’t be more grateful for our partnership with Spy Rock,” said Peters. “It has been incredible working side by side with a community partner that understands our mission and shares our passion of shaping the future of children across our region.”

Revenue from the lease and the capital campaign will permit UMFS to build two state-of-the-art buildings that will allow the organization to expand its reach to the children, teens and families it serves.

Phase 1 of UMFS’ renovations will break ground this winter and include a new Child & Family Healing Center that will allow UMFS to serve 20% more youth. The residential center, housing youth ages 11-17, will replace four post-WWII cottages, add much-needed common space for families and enhance the living spaces for the youth.

Phase 2 of the project includes an addition to UMFS’ Charterhouse School that will enable UMFS to serve 135 students in a more traditional school setting. The new school building also will enhance UMFS’ career and technical education program and expand its services for students with autism.

“Our new Child & Family Healing Center not only will allow us to serve more young people, but it also will help us better accommodate the family unit. We believe that children do better when they’re with families, and our new Child & Family Healing Center is being designed with that in mind,” said Peters. “Charterhouse School provides incredible support to students throughout our region. With our planned addition, we’ll be able to better serve students in our Career and Technical Education program and enhance the services we provide to students with autism.”

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Business

Richmond Region Tourism partners with VisitAble to offer disability awareness education to local hospitality community

A new partnership between Richmond Region Tourism and VisitAble is working to make the region more inclusive for visitors of all abilities.

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A new partnership between Richmond Region Tourism and VisitAble is working to make the region more inclusive for visitors of all abilities.

The region’s tourism marketer recently engaged VisitAble to provide free disability inclusion and awareness education programs to local businesses and organizations.

A startup based in Central Virginia, VisitAble works to improve accessibility and disability inclusion by engaging businesses, governments, and educational institutions in its Advocate+ Certification program. The process includes training 80% of staff on disability etiquette and inclusion, an accessibility test for public-facing locations, a mystery guest experience from an individual with a disability for staff to put their training intro practice, a report with feedback and advice from VisitAble and the mystery guest(s), and a website listing on VisitAble’s database of accessibility information to alleviate the uncertainty that may prevent customers and visitors from visiting.

After completing the certification process, hospitality partners will receive an Advocate+ Certification sticker for their door or window, a digital badge for use on their website, and recognition on Richmond Region Tourism’s website to broadcast the partner’s efforts and to further alleviate any uncertainty that potential tourists with disabilities may have.

“Our Advocate+ certification indicates an organization is actively working towards disability inclusion,” said VisitAble founder Joe Jamison. “Increased training, awareness, and transparency from the certification process helps organizations create a better experience for everyone. We’re thrilled to partner with the Richmond Region Tourism team to make a great impact on disability inclusion not only for tourists of the greater Richmond area, but also the greater Richmond community.”

“As we welcome new and returning travelers to the region every day, we’re constantly thinking about ways to improve the visitor experience while enhancing the quality of life for residents,” said Jack Berry, president and CEO of Richmond Region Tourism. “We’re proud to offer these free education programs with VisitAble to hospitality partners to help improve accessibility and inclusion for everyone in the region.”

There are limited slots available for the initiative. Local hospitality-focused businesses and organizations interested in a free Advocate+ Certification from VisitAble can submit an application here.

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We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Blue Bee Cider lists Scott’s Addition home for $3 million; future of business unclear

“I’m hoping to find a buyer who’ll love and appreciate it as much as I do,” owner Courtney Mailey said.

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From Richmond BizSense:

The future of a Scott’s Addition cidery is up in the air as it lists its prime real estate for sale.

Blue Bee Cider’s compound at 1320 Summit Ave. hit the market this week with an asking price of $3.2 million.

Owner Courtney Mailey said whether the cidery will continue operating there will depend on a buyer’s plans.

“I’m hoping to find a buyer who’ll love and appreciate it as much as I do,” Mailey said of the property. “We’re just trying to find the right match. Once the building finds the right owner, we’ll start to think about the cidery.” Continue reading here.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Business

MEDARVA Foundation opens interactive medical science learning space at Short Pump Town Center

The center, open through the end of August, will let visitors learn about human anatomy, surgery, and the MEDARVA Foundation’s work to support scientific research and medical access in Central Virginia.

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The MEDARVA Foundation has opened Surgeon Immersion, an experiential center at Short Pump Town Center, during the month of August. Admission-free, the center will let visitors learn about human anatomy, surgery, and the MEDARVA Foundation’s work to support scientific research and medical access in Central Virginia.

“We are excited to celebrate MEDARVA Healthcare’s 70th anniversary by bringing our mission directly to the community,” said Joanne Whiley, chair of MEDARVA Healthcare’s Board of Directors. “We were well known as the Richmond Eye and Ear Hospital for our first fifty years. This is a great opportunity to educate the community on the ways we have evolved since and how we provide service today.”

MEDARVA Healthcare is the last Richmond-based, independent, non-profit health system, operating MEDARVA Surgery Centers at Stony Point and West Creek, MEDARVA Imaging Center, MEDARVA Low Vision Center, and the MEDARVA Foundation.

“The MEDARVA Foundation has been quietly funding medical research at VCU Medical School and UVA Medical School, among others, as well as supporting other local nonprofits that provide direct care to the medically underserved,” explained Cheryl Jarvis, chair of the MEDARVA Foundation Board of Directors.  “But during the pandemic, we started to see the need to support younger scientific researchers as they first start out in middle and high school.  The level of work these students are performing is amazing, and when we started to think about how we could highlight them and inspire others, we developed the idea of a community space that would engage and educate.”

MEDARVA Foundation’s Surgeon Immersion will be open every day in August from Short Pump Town Center’s opening until 7:00 pm (6:00 pm on Sundays) and includes a state-of-the-art digital cadaver table, and simulated surgery kiosks, 2022 Science Fair winning projects, children vision screenings, and more.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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