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Date : December 10, 2022
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Richmond preparing for Phase 1 of City Center Plan

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) —  The City of Richmond has announced that it is accepting applications from developers for Phase 1 of the City Center Innovation District Project.

The Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond (EDA) is working with the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority (“GRCCA”) on their City Center plan, according to a recent release from the city.

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According to the release, Phase 1 of the project will focus on the site of the Richmond Coliseum, as well as the Blues Armory and 6th Street Marketplace, all of which are currently vacant and unused.

coliseum

The Richmond Coliseum on East Leigh Street has been vacant since hosting its last event in December of 2018. (Photo: Forrest Shelor, 8News)

Project timeline so far:

2020-2021: Small Area Plan Development

  • In January, 2022 the City Center Small Area Plan was adopted by Richmond City Council. At the time, The City and the EDA owned approximately 26 acres of land in the Downtown area that they considered to be in poor condition, underutilized, or both.

May 2022: Properties Transferred to the EDA

  • On May 18, 2022, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority Board of Commissioners approved the transfer of the Blues Armory properties to the EDA. On May 23, 2022, Richmond City Council approved the transfer of the Coliseum to the EDA to prepare for the redevelopment of the Coliseum and to implement the vision for City Center.

September 2022

Now

  • The Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond, Virginia is working with the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority to accept applications for the 9.4 acres of under-utilized, EDA-owned property in Richmond’s City Center Innovation District.

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According to the city, the City Center is a prime redevelopment area. The City Center is easily accessible throughout the Greater Richmond Region and the entire East Coast by road, rail and air, according to a recent release from the city.

“Now is the time for Richmond to reinvigorate this part of our Downtown to be a more
vibrant destination for innovation, residential life, and tourism,” said City Council Vice
President Ellen F. Robertson.

“We are thrilled to start the redevelopment of our City Center and to align it with the vision
of the City Center Innovation District Small Area Plan. All of the pieces are in place to position the redevelopment of the Coliseum site into a mixed-use, hotel-anchored development. We
look forward to seeing this initial phase of the City Center redevelopment become a lively
innovation district that attracts both established and startup companies, adds mixed-income housing, creates greenspace, expands tourism, and so much more, while also
creating opportunities for as many Richmonders as possible.”

Leonard Sledge, Executive Director of Richmond EDA.

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The Request for Interest (RFI) document can be found here. Submissions are due between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 20, 2022.

You can submit your thoughts through an online City Center Feedback Survey.

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