Urban One came in strong with promises of jobs, tax revenue, concerts, and green space as part of their $565 million southside casino and resort. The issue was but before Richmond residents yesterday. The vote was too close to call last night but the writing was on the wall this morning and the measure was defeated by 51.4 percent of Richmond voters voting against it.
Mayor Stoney released the following statement earlier this morning.
From the beginning, we said the people would decide. They have spoken, and we must respect their decision.
While I believe this was a $565 million opportunity lost to create well-paying jobs, expand opportunity, keep taxes low and increase revenue to meet the needs of our growing city, I am proud of the transparent and public process we went through to listen to our residents and put this opportunity before our voters.
I’m deeply appreciative to the members of our economic development team who negotiated this project and to Richmond City Council, which overwhelmingly supported it. Finally, I’d like to thank Cathy Hughes, Alfred Liggins and the entire Urban One Team for being willing to commit to, and invest in, our city. They believe in Richmond, as do we. Rest assured, this administration will not be deterred from its ongoing mission to bring other economic development opportunities to our city that will benefit the lives of all who live here.
RTD has a nice summary of the battle and money spent.
The Richmond casino project owners spent approximately $2 million campaigning for the proposal, spending the bulk of their money on media advertisements, campaign mail and volunteers trumpeting its projected benefits, such as $50 million in annual tax revenue for the city and other amenities, including 15 restaurants, an on-site television and radio studio, and a 3,000-seat theater.
Opponents of the project mounted a modest campaign raising about one-tenth of what the casino campaign spent, arguing that a casino in Richmond would worsen poverty and lead to a rise in gambling addiction.
Richmond’s vote is a stark contrast to ballot measures taken last year in four other cities in Virginia, where voters approved referendums with majorities of 65% or greater.
Venture Richmond Publishes 32 Page Magazine Touting $3.6 Billion in Downtown Investments
From 2019-2022 more than 75 development projects totaling upwards of $3.6 billion have been completed or are underway in the Downtown master plan area of the City. Venture Richmond has tracked the developments and recently published a 32-page magazine documenting the growth and investment.
Venture Richmond has put together a magazine that highlights the growth in the area over the past few years.
Some tidbits from the press release.
While Downtown makes up a relatively small share of the city’s total land area, it has substantial economic and community impact. Richmond’s downtown sits on 3.2 square miles of the city which is just 5.1% of the city’s total land but has a property value of $3 billion per square mile compared to $0.56 billion for the city overall and $0.065 billion per square mile for the region.*
From 2000-2018 Downtown absorbed 42% of the City’s population growth.* During that time Downtown experienced 110% population growth, with 21,000 people living Downtown in
2018.* Today, that figure is closer to 25,000 Downtown residents.
Downtown attracts a diverse population of residents, many of whom are young and well educated, with 57% having a bachelor’s degree or higher.* Downtown has 53% of all jobs in the
City and 63% of its knowledge workers.* Creative workspaces fill high rise buildings, funky historic rehabs, and quirky storefronts.
* Source: International Downtown Association Research on Richmond for “The Value of U.S. Downtowns and Center Cities”
If you’d like to check out the magazine you can view it online or as a magazine for pick up at Venture Richmond offices by request only. Please email [email protected] to request your copy beginning Tuesday, January 18. It can also be found in the January issue of Virginia Business Magazine.
Sample page from the magazine highlighting some of the many developments that have popped up in Manchester.
Eggmania brings authentic Indian street food to the West End
This new concept in Henrico, the first of its kind to open in Virginia, is located at 2610 Tuckernuck Drive, beside Royal Bazaar Farmers Market.
Eggmania, a restaurant specializing in egg-based delicacies and authentic Indian street foods, announced that its fifth overall location has opened, its first in Richmond. This new concept in Henrico, the first of its kind to open in Virginia, is located at 2610 Tuckernuck Drive, beside Royal Bazaar Farmers Market.
Eggmania is a fast-growing restaurant brand specializing in Indian street foods, most of which are egg-based. Keeping the health and nutrition benefits of eggs in mind, Eggmania is known for its consistent quality and unique dishes. Customers can find different dishes with eggs boiled, shredded, fried, or folded into omelets to accommodate all forms and flavors of Indian cuisine with various gravy options.
Eggmania also serves Bombay-style grilled sandwiches with the choice of eggs, paneer, and chicken along with authentic Indian-flavored Kababs and chicken delicacies. Eggmania has plenty of vegetarian options as well. Popular menu items include Volcano Biryani, Anda Lahori, Angoori Fry, Jetty Roll, Paneer Lava Fry, Cold Coco, the Samosa Grill sandwich, and many more.
The concept for Eggmania was established by five young, passionate friends, who all originated from the state of Gujarat, India, and met during their college careers in the United States. Having bonded through their shared craving for egg meals that were easily available on Indian streets but limited in the States, the friends were inspired enough by the idea and the food to open their own restaurant.
“It’s tough leaving your home and the things you’re familiar with – the liveliness of street food culture and the uniqueness of our egg-based meals in India bring people together, and we all missed that,” explains Darshan Patel and Kunjan Patel, two of the five partners. “We wanted Eggmania to be the place where people could go to not only get good, unique food but to also find the little bit of community and culture that we left behind.”
While the idea of starting a restaurant came out of a casual discussion in 2012, it was the thought of having the foods they missed every day and the ability to serve a community facing similar food issues that encouraged them to bring their concept to life. Within months, the friends opened the first Eggmania in Jersey City, New Jersey in the heart of a thriving Indian community. Soon after, they added a second location in Iselin, New Jersey, and this year they began franchising in Illinois and Massachusetts. The Eggmania team identified Richmond as an ideal area for this unique type of restaurant and looks forward to satisfying local customer cravings with an expansive menu of egg-citing dishes.
The new 1,900 sq. ft. location has indoor seating available along with takeout and delivery options.
The Richmond location is open Sunday through Thursday, 12-10 pm, and Friday and Saturday, 11 am-11 pm. For more information, visit https://www.eggmania.com.
CoStar Group to build massive new office tower along riverfront, creating 2,000 new jobs
The new “HQ2” will be build adjacent to the company’s current riverfront building and provide over 750,000 square feet of new office space for CoStar employees.
Governor Ralph Northam today announced that CoStar Group, Inc., a leading provider of real estate information, analytics, and online marketplaces, expects to invest more than $460 million to expand in Richmond. CoStar plans to establish a Corporate Campus that will include sales, marketing, software development, customer service and support functions on four acres adjacent to its current facility, which serves as the company’s headquarters for research and data analytics.
Virginia successfully competed with other states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for the project, which is expected to create 2,000 new jobs.
“I am thrilled CoStar is investing yet again in Virginia,” said Governor Northam. “Their continued success is a direct result of our attractive business climate and dynamic workforce found across the state. CoStar has been a wonderful partner for the Commonwealth and I look forward to seeing what they accomplish next.”
The new campus represents approximately 750,000 square feet of new office and retail space and is expected to include a 26-story, LEED-certified office building and a six-story, multipurpose building to be used as a central location for employee amenities. The multipurpose employee facility is expected to include conference facilities, fitness and wellness, auditorium, and mixed-use retail and restaurant spaces. Once completed, CoStar Group will occupy approximately one million square feet of office space in downtown Richmond.
Founded in 1987, CoStar Group conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of real estate information. The company’s online services enable clients to analyze, interpret, and gain insight on commercial property values, market conditions, and current availability. CoStar Group’s brands include CoStar, Apartments.com, LoopNet, and Homes.com, and its websites attract hundreds of millions of unique monthly visitors. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., CoStar maintains offices throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Canada, and Asia with a staff of approximately 4,800 worldwide.
“Richmond has become a technology hub with a diverse tech workforce, and CoStar Group’s continued expansion demonstrates how a region’s infrastructure and talent powers the growth and success of businesses,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We thank the company for creating 2,000 high-quality jobs and look forward to continuing our long-term partnership with CoStar.”
“Richmond is a growing community with access to a deep pool of diverse, highly-skilled workers, a vibrant culture of innovation and a wonderful quality of life for our existing and future employees,” said Andy Florance, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoStar Group. “The strong partnerships we have established with the Commonwealth of Virginia, the City of Richmond, and institutions of higher education such as VCU, will be critical for our continued growth. Virginia, Richmond, and Costar Group all have bright futures ahead, and we are excited to grow together.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the City of Richmond, the Greater Richmond Partnership, and the General Assembly’s Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission to secure the project for Virginia. The project will leverage public infrastructure upgrades around the new campus to be funded by the Commonwealth through an investment approved by the Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission of up to $15 million, subject to approval by the General Assembly. These upgrades will address commuter and pedestrian access, roadway and traffic improvements, safety, and offsite utility extensions around the new campus.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates CoStar Group’s continued confidence in the many advantages that make Virginia the top state for business in the nation, and we thank the company for its major economic impact in the City of Richmond,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Chair Senator Janet Howell. “I commend the team that worked to ensure CoStar selected the Commonwealth, and I am proud the MEI Commission could play a role in securing this important project.”
“We thank CoStar Group for its major investment and creating 2,000 new jobs in the Commonwealth,” said Major Employment and Investment Project Approval Commission Vice Chair Delegate Luke Torian. “The company’s new world-class Corporate Campus will significantly expand CoStar’s footprint in the City of Richmond, and I am pleased the MEI Commission could collaborate with our state, regional, and local partners on this tremendous project.”
“Since arriving in 2016, the CoStar Group and its employees have been priceless additions to our community,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “Now, five years later, the company’s decision to invest more than $460 million and create 2,000 new jobs in Downtown Richmond along the riverfront speaks not only to past success, but also to its confidence to grow and prosper in our city in the future. Richmond’s talent pipeline, business climate, infrastructure improvements, and quality of life make it the perfect home for the global leader of commercial real estate information and analytics. We’re excited for CoStar Group’s significant expansion, and look forward to continuing our positive and productive partnership.”
“Since locating its research headquarters in Richmond five years ago, CoStar has found the right type of experienced, diverse IT talent the companies of tomorrow are looking for,” said Jennifer Wakefield, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. “We’re thrilled CoStar is continuing to invest in Greater Richmond.”
“CoStar Group, Inc. has been an impactful source of employment for Virginians,” said Congressman Donald McEachin. “The announcement that CoStar will continue its operations in Richmond and establish a Corporate Campus is exciting and will help further stimulate our local economy while providing important opportunities to Virginians. The company’s decision is also a testament to the Commonwealth’s strong economic climate and competitive, qualified workforce. I look forward to this expansion as we continue working to strengthen and grow Virginia’s economy.”
“This is a significant boost for job creation in downtown Richmond,” said Senator Jennifer McClellan. “The creation of nearly 2,000 new jobs will help provide economic opportunity for Richmond residents and will support continued growth in the fields of software development and data analytics. I’m pleased to see CoStar continue to grow and establish a Corporate Campus here in Richmond.”
“CoStar’s Center of Excellence is just the latest example of Richmond attracting companies who are at the forefront of innovation,” said Delegate Jeff Bourne. “CoStar’s expansion is a welcome addition, and I look forward to welcoming their new employees to our city.”