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eandslee

New Richmond Arena

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Well I did email my councilwoman to let her know my husband and I support the project and I was disappointed in her (Kristen Larson) abrubt change in position to ask the mayor to pull the proposal before the consultant that was requested by them even made their report. I have never lived in a city where the council and mayor are always at such odds. I didn't vote for Stoney either, but there is a lot I do like about him and it just seems like so much of this is personal.

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Very disappointing. Not very often Proposals like this come around that offer to reinvent a part of the city that has been stagnant for a while and will probably not show any signs of activity for decades. Was this plan risky? Yes. Was it the best plan that could have been proposed? No. Did the mayor and NH Corp handle the public input process the best? Probably not. Will Richmond get an opportunity to redevelop this area and add the amount of residential units, as well as hotel rooms, commercial space and affordable housing units in the city center again? Not for at least another 50 years. Richmond city council showed that they are buffoons and have no desire to even work with the developers and will miss out on the largest economic development project proposed in the city in years. Sorry for ranting, it’s very disappointing that it seems city council won’t even consider revising the plan and are just flat out rejecting it.

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38 minutes ago, blopp1234 said:

Very disappointing. Not very often Proposals like this come around that offer to reinvent a part of the city that has been stagnant for a while and will probably not show any signs of activity for decades. Was this plan risky? Yes. Was it the best plan that could have been proposed? No. Did the mayor and NH Corp handle the public input process the best? Probably not. Will Richmond get an opportunity to redevelop this area and add the amount of residential units, as well as hotel rooms, commercial space and affordable housing units in the city center again? Not for at least another 50 years. Richmond city council showed that they are buffoons and have no desire to even work with the developers and will miss out on the largest economic development project proposed in the city in years. Sorry for ranting, it’s very disappointing that it seems city council won’t even consider revising the plan and are just flat out rejecting it.

Don’t be so dramatic. It is happening on Navy Hill’s doorsteps right now:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/09/17/new-100000-square-foot-building-planned-for-biotech-park/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/05/07/developers-look-create-city-center-monroe-jackson-ward/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/11/25/douglas-development-begins-apartment-conversion-of-former-downtown-hotel-building/

In the next decade, when Richmond’s full immersion into the northeast corridor is complete, with hourly train service to DC and NY, you will see developers falling all over themselves to acquire property in Navy Hill, not needing handouts.   We’ll see much higher and a more diverse mix of better uses, larger apartment and office towers,  without taxpayer subsidies needed. 

 

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8 hours ago, vaceltic said:

Don’t be so dramatic. It is happening on Navy Hill’s doorsteps right now:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/09/17/new-100000-square-foot-building-planned-for-biotech-park/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/05/07/developers-look-create-city-center-monroe-jackson-ward/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/11/25/douglas-development-begins-apartment-conversion-of-former-downtown-hotel-building/

In the next decade, when Richmond’s full immersion into the northeast corridor is complete, with hourly train service to DC and NY, you will see developers falling all over themselves to acquire property in Navy Hill, not needing handouts.   We’ll see much higher and a more diverse mix of better uses, larger apartment and office towers,  without taxpayer subsidies needed. 

 

None of which will be for public use...

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12 hours ago, vaceltic said:

the public engagement doesn’t happen AFTER the plan is unveiled. It’s before. Hence the council’s request for the small area plan, Richmond 300, and reissuing the RFP. 

I seriously doubt there would be this much push-back had this been done at the beginning, when it’s clear the RFP process was rigged and cherry-picked for Tom Farrel’s group to win. The entire process has been illegitimate and a sham and now Stoney and Farrel want to whine about how council isn’t going along with it. Crocodile tears coming straight from their arrogance.

The ONLY reason  the RFP was done was because of interest by Farrel's group.  What were we suppose to do: When interest is stated drag it out for another 10 years of studies before even considering, to which point the deal is long expired?  Oh wait, that is the Richmond way, every time.  The city is doing as well as it is despite the city as the city government has been clearly useless for decades.  Hell, the state does more to help Richmond than the overly conservative Richmond government does!  Thankfully we at least have plenty of places to drink, for a 14% tax...

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These things are always ugly. Not just a Richmond thing (that undeniable aspect is another story).

Setting aside personalities and political stunts, monumentally big stadium/arena/ballpark village redevelopment type commitments should be difficult to pass through a representative council. They’re among the biggest commitments the locality will make; it would be strange and unsettled if they flew through. And this one, for all its apparent advantages, has one obvious and easily identifiable flaw: the single bidder issue. Not hating, just saying.

I will say this: they darn well better build that second tower because they’re tying up half the lanes on 7th and 8th, in the middle of the GA no less, clearing out the old one to knock it down.

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11 hours ago, Hike said:

Icetera beat me to it – all private development examples.

What I think needs to be resolved is how does Richmond get past the threshold of a combined public/private development.

Are we unique, is this how it always goes or do relationships between public & private developments work elsewhere? 

What's being described as model growth and acceptable development practices are all private developments, which are in Navy Hill.

  • Apartments
  • Company expansions
  • Retail
  • Commercial

The issue is, components of Navy Hill require both public & private cooperation. 

  • Arena
  • Parking
  • Transfer station.

Whether Navy Hill advances or not, these parts of the project require a combination of public & private funding.

We can kick the can down the road, slow down, too much - too fast,  not organic enough.  It seems like all that will do is delay the public & private partnership until the next time.   

The questions are - can Richmond trust a partner to advance projects like this? 

Whether Navy Hill makes it or dies on the vine, these types of public & private developments aren’t going away and how do we work through them, either now or the next time?

Parking is already there. Navy Hill and Stoney did not even coordinate the transfer station‘s need and location with GRTC, the organization that’s supposedly going to magically find money to operate it. So, when you boil it down, it comes to whether the community wants to fund a new arena over other priorities. It was VERY clear during the 2016 election cycle, that taxpaying residents demanded the leadership not to engage in “shiny new projects”.
 

This has been so clear a message even since, those who choose to ignore it (including Stoney and Farrell) have been (1) utterly tone deaf; (2) operating in an echo chamber of likeminded thought;  (3) ignoring reality altogether; or (4) all the above.

Edited by vaceltic

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I’m still not convinced that the majority of people in Richmond are against the NH project. There are just a few loud people who are against it.  That’s what this fight was about...those for the project and the few loud opponents who throw temper tantrums until they get their way...and Council bought what they were selling. Shame. 

Edited by eandslee
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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

I’m still not convinced that the majority of people in Richmond are against the NH project. There are just a few loud people who are against it.  That’s what this fight was about...those for the project and the few loud opponents who throw temper tantrums until they get their way...and Council bought what they were selling. Shame. 

A majority of council members voting against it don’t convince you? They need 7 of 9 to vote in favor, yet they can’t even get 5 votes in favor.

A majority volunteer commission of appointed lawyers, architects, state cabinet secretaries, PhD educators, and economic and tourism consultants reviewed it and didn’t endorse the project doesn’t convince you? Who else is better to review it?

This is not even a close vote. Two years of Stoney and Farrel’s secret negotiations to cross their t’s and dot their i’s - yet it’s still a constantly shifting goalpost of ideas - the public loses even more trust and its merits falter by the day as they do this.
 

Its been nowhere close to convincing the public, city council, or a panel of experts that it’s a good idea and it’s only getting worse as they try to shuffle it up - it’s high time they stop wasting our time and let the City move on with other priorities.

Edited by vaceltic
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So, given the events over the last few days, where do you think go from here?  Will someone pull a rabbit out of their hat or will this thing go crashing down to the ground and burn?  Just can’t believe that Council gave no real indication that they were going to do what they did and didn’t even try to work with the developers at all.  smh...

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3 hours ago, Hike said:

minority on this board.

Exactly.  Unfortunately the vocal majority and news commentators are against everything.  Personally, I am getting really tired of traveling to DC for things I used to be able to experience in Richmond.

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22 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

As a taxpayer, I would like my money back on the study of Navy Hill City Council kicked off in December. 5 of the 4 have made up their minds without this additional information in hand.  

Why are all of these developments happening?

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/09/17/new-100000-square-foot-building-planned-for-biotech-park/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2018/05/07/developers-look-create-city-center-monroe-jackson-ward/

https://richmondbizsense.com/2019/11/25/douglas-development-begins-apartment-conversion-of-former-downtown-hotel-building/

Because the city is NOT involved. Every project with city participation is generally a train wreck. City Hall has held back the city for as long as one can remember. I was excited that these city owned parcels would revert to private ownership. I was excited to see state sales tax revenue remain local given the lack of compensation the City receives for the footprint the Commonwealth occupies (no real estate taxes, no adequate reimbursement for city services, etc).  Now, we can look forward to another decade or more of inaction, political maneuvering, and analysis paralysis.  I would give anything for an alternative universe where the Commonwealth ditches the independent city concept and the City is apart  of Henrico County. Sh*t gets done there, and after 12 years living in the City, I'm worn out. 

YES!!!!! THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL!!!!

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:28 AM, eandslee said:

So, given the events over the last few days, where do you think go from here?  Will someone pull a rabbit out of their hat or will this thing go crashing down to the ground and burn?  Just can’t believe that Council gave no real indication that they were going to do what they did and didn’t even try to work with the developers at all.  smh...

I’m sorry.  I know you and others here were excited about Navy Hill but it is definitely dead at this point. 

The bill to apply state taxes to the TIF has been withdrawn today. 

The momentum is strong in Richmond.  An arena will get built eventually (maybe as part of the proposed casino?) but the proposal will have to be much cleaner and more market driven than this one to succeed. 

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Perhaps of note here, my wife attended a talk Stoney gave this evening. She was skeptical about the Navy Hill plan but he won her over. 

Every person counts, but in full disclosure we’re Henrico residents, albeit a lazy fly ball from the city line.

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Well, after reading the RTD article about Bourne’s withdrawal of the bill that would reduce the TIF area and use state taxes to help fund the new arena, I didn’t get the sense that the project is completely dead. In fact, the bill can be re-instated this session of the GA (albeit not likely). The article suggested that the mayor and the NH development team will still work with City Council to make the project work for all.  I see this as a big bump in the road, but not a wall. Obviously, this will delay everything at least a year, maybe more, but the idea of building a new arena and the components of the NH development appear to still be alive and well. More discussion and more compromise is needed to move forward.  I thought we were headed in the right direction just before Council dropped their  “bomb” of non-support on us, so I think there still might be hope.  The TIF area would be reduced, the location of the bus transfer station was being reviewed to include alternate locations, a sports tenant was just announced, etc.  Everything was moving in the right direction; perhaps more time is needed to flesh out more details and to allow for the concession of more compromise.  So, it may not be all over just yet. Anything can happen...though the odds right now are stacked against the NH development team. We shall see what happens.  Looks like this thread will still be alive for a while longer!

Edited by eandslee
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Council’s comments on their involvement  in the Navy Hill process and what they heard from their constituents over the course of this marketing campaign:

 

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Delegate Bourne’s bill to divert state sales tax to the Navy Hill project is back in play, VPM’s Roberto Roldan reports on Twitter — “At the request of Speaker @EFillerCorn Del. Bourne’s #NavyHill bill was revived in an emergency meeting of the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee and referred to Finance. The bill had already been tabled after @JeffMBourne refused to support the bill. Never seen this.”...

So u are saying there is a chance?

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