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New Richmond Arena


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I wanted to make sure that I waited about a full day to react to this situation since my gut reaction to the council request was going to be much uglier than after giving it some more thought.  I also

Yea - that $800 million in private equity funds (never to be paid back by the city) pouring into downtown is a total rip off.     Your not fooling us you shysters - take your $800 million and find som

I guess this could go in a few forums, but CoStar has announced they will anchor the new 400,000 sf tower adjacent to the Arena.  Plans to double the workforce to 2000.  Huge news! https://richmo

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7 hours ago, Wahoo 07 said:

I am optimistic about this.  Tom Ferrell is committed to Richmond and I believe that he will want this to be a statement project.

I honestly think that Farrell's proposal will be very good, I just worry about the public sentiment with regard to how everything went down (i.e. this is the only submission the city got and it sort of appears that the RFP was written for the Farrell group's proposal with a short deadline that would be pretty impossible for any other group to put something together in a short 90 day timeframe).  The fact of the matter is that the Tom Farrell group has been working on this for probably more than a year and would have been the most thorough proposal anyway.  Now I just want to know about the details and I want to see any renderings (if any exist).  I just hate to have to wait another 30 days (probably less now) to hear about any details.  Let's get the show on the road already, but let's make sure everything is done right so that all the naysayers out there will shut their mouths.  It would be a travesty to have both VA Beach and Richmond fail at getting a new, state-of-the-art arena - that would be the worst case scenario.  Some people on Facebook and elsewhere have already written this proposal off as an utter failure (funny when they don't know a thing about any of the details).  The negativity runs rampant in this town for some reason.

Edited by eandslee
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From the article:

"But the city wants clarifications from Farrell’s group, which is operating under the name NH District Corp. and was the lone respondent to the RFP."

 

I don't feel so good reading this sentence.  I did read that Farrell does include people from different companies but I was hoping for big name developers to respond.  Maybe I am missing something? 

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Shakman said:

From the article:

"But the city wants clarifications from Farrell’s group, which is operating under the name NH District Corp. and was the lone respondent to the RFP."

 

I don't feel so good reading this sentence.  I did read that Farrell does include people from different companies but I was hoping for big name developers to respond.  Maybe I am missing something? 

 

 

Well, just because there was only one submission, doesn’t mean that the Ferrell group submission is a bad one. What kind of torques me is that the city tried to make it seem like developers were lining up to get involved and I just don’t think that was the case.  Even if there were more developers interested, 90 days is just not enough time  for developers to come in, do their research, reach out to the community, and come up with a well thought-out plan.  The Ferrell group had been working on a plan for a very long time and the city caught wind of it and then wanted to say that this was a city initiative (for political reasons?) is what I think happened here.  That aside, I have full confidence in the Ferrell group (even though I haven’t seen their plan yet) - they’ve hired all the right consultants and all the right, local big names are also involved.  That is the only way this will actually get off the ground. 

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I never indicated that Farrell has submitted something terrible.   Just concerned of having only one submission.  More submissions for a project of this size could equate to even more interest from developers to invest in Richmond.

On 4/14/2018 at 4:20 PM, Brent114 said:

I predict a new publicly financed, scaled-down, arena on one of the parking lots in the area.  Then the existing arena will be demolished to become another parking lot. 

I thought April Fools was two weeks ago?  :D

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On 4/14/2018 at 4:20 PM, Brent114 said:

I predict a new publicly financed, scaled-down, arena on one of the parking lots in the area.  Then the existing arena will be demolished to become another parking lot. 

I would think this if the City had more leverage here (i.e. traditional publicly funded)...in fact i would just assume it would never get done.  The City will do what it needs to do by adding more less-productive requirements (my opinion) here to make everyone happy but at the end of the day the group running the show will build an Arena capable of hosting early round NCAA tourney games and attracting regular first-tier concerts that typically skip Richmond....at a minimum (this again my opinion, but this is at least one threshold they are looking for I believe).

 

 

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Sorry- no new news, but I wanted to throw an idea out there. I've had it in my head since the RFP was released, and finally had a few minutes at the office to translate it to a (very rough) site plan. This would include a new ballpark and arena on city-owned land and the site of the current Coliseum, as well as two (2) new high rises - one hotel, one mixed-use - over multi-level parking decks (potential for below-grade parking, too). It would create an entertainment district right in the heart of downtown, and realign N. 7th and reopen Clay. Any thoughts? Have others had similar ideas?

 

Edit: Ballpark is scaled to minor league ball, and arena reflects roughly ~18K seats.

 

RVA_entertainment district.jpg

Edited by TBurban
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1 hour ago, TBurban said:

Sorry- no new news, but I wanted to throw an idea out there. I've had it in my head since the RFP was released, and finally had a few minutes at the office to translate it to a (very rough) site plan. This would include a new ballpark and arena on city-owned land and the site of the current Coliseum, as well as two (2) new high rises - one hotel, one mixed-use - over multi-level parking decks (potential for below-grade parking, too). It would create an entertainment district right in the heart of downtown, and realign N. 7th and reopen Clay. Any thoughts? Have others had similar ideas?

 

Edit: Ballpark is scaled to minor league ball, and arena reflects roughly ~18K seats.

 

RVA_entertainment district.jpg

I love the idea! I have seen what the Atlanta Braves did at their new facility "The Battery" and it is a destination for more than just baseball. It attracts people for the restaurant, retail, and other entertainment options when baseball isn't being played. I know that we aren't Atlanta, but their facility is 20 minutes outside of the city. I would imagine something like this would do well....as long as it isn't just a stadium, or just an arena. It has been proven countless times, that a sports venue alone is not a catalyst for further development. They should be an addition to the surroundings and not be the only draw. 

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I actually love your idea too.  Just wish there was a credible movement in Richmond that was advocating to put the new diamond downtown.  It’s a nice dream. Great work on the drawings BTW.  Now see if the rest of Richmond would welcome it. 

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TBurban - this is excellent!  It would be a great way to build a true sports "complex" (think of what Philadelphia has built in South Philly) and tie it in with other much needed components, such as a large-scale hotel and a mixed-used tower. Having retail, clubs, nightlife as part of the mix would really bring this area to life.  What of the existing government buildings along Marshall? Isn't Mayor Stoney looking to redevelop all those parcels?  What are the chances of relocating the Federal building and the courthouse, etc., to open that up for better, higher intensity (high rise) mixed use development?  Leaving the existing buildings is a bit out of place with new development.  Could residential towers be added to the mix?  With all the new residential development south and west of that part of downtown, having residential towers would spur other business opportunities (retail, nightlife, etc.)  Perhaps a theater or entertainment venue on the ground floor of one of the towers? Or a major, upscale restaurant? Lots of possibilities.

I haven't checked the Times-Dispatch yet, but i got an e-mail update this afternoon that the mayor is going to or has briefed City Council on the next steps to move this forward - that certainly SOUNDS like good news!

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23 minutes ago, Downtowner said:

Dang it.  I need to subscribe to read it.  :(  Can anyone provide a synopsis?

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Here you guys go!!!! :tw_smiley:

 

From today's Richmond times Dispatch on the Coliseum.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney’s administration has briefed Richmond City Council members on his plans to move forward with a proposal to build a new arena and redevelop a valuable swath of city-owned downtown real estate.

The city will enter into formal negotiations with NH District Corp., a group of corporate leaders formed last summer that is led by Dominion CEO Thomas F. Farrell II. In February, the entity submitted the lone pitch in response to a city request for proposals for the project.

“Though many questions remain and there are important points to negotiate, based upon the results of this review process, I believe there is potential in this proposal to provide transformational change in an underutilized portion of downtown, without negatively impacting the city finances or debt capacity,” Stoney said in a news release sent after an earlier version of this story was published.

 

“After briefing the members of city council, I’ve instructed staff to negotiate with NH District Corp with the understanding that we will only take the next step in this process if we determine it is in the best interests of the community," Stoney said in the statement.

Stoney is aiming to formally introduce a package of ordinances advancing the redevelopment in September. The timeline and some details of the proposal, which includes capital investment in excess of $1 billion, were shared during confidential meetings the mayor's administration called with Council members early this week, according to four sources with knowledge of the meetings and proposal.

Farrell's group had expressed interest in overhauling the area prior to Stoney announcing the RFP. That Farrell's group then submitted the only response to the call for proposals raised questions for some about the legitimacy of the RFP process.

Jeff Kelley, a spokesman for NH District Corp., said in a statement the group invited feedback from the public, and had already heard from more than 1,000 people through its website and a series of events it held earlier this year.

"We have much more listening to do, and we look forward to working with the city to outline details of how next steps of the RFP process will advance," Kelley said. "We commit to additional public engagement to further refine the plan."

The meetings with some Council members included a presentation by the city’s external financial adviser, Davenport & Co. The administration emphasized the details of the final plan were still fluid, the sources said.

With the RFP, Stoney is aiming to remake a roughly 10-block area of downtown bounded by North Fifth Street, East Leigh Street, North 10th Street and East Marshall Street. The area includes about 21 acres of publicly owned property.

Anchoring the redevelopment would be a new 17,500-seat arena to replace the existing Richmond Coliseum, which Stoney has characterized as a “decaying public asset.” The city RFP also calls for a 400-room hotel, a new transfer station for GRTC riders, the preservation of the Blue’s Armory building and the creation of mixed-use, affordable housing.

How the redevelopment will be financed is still an open question.

When the RFP was announced, Stoney said that the city will not issue any general obligation bonds to finance the development. However, proposals that incorporate tax-increment financing would be considered "if needed," he said at the time. The financing mechanism is still a part of discussions, the sources said.

Tax-increment financing would dedicate a portion of the additional property tax revenue generated by the redevelopment within the district to pay off bonds for the project, while generating revenues that could be applied to other priorities.

 

The meetings with Council members come four months after the city received the proposal. The Stoney administration has put out little information about the project in the interim despite several requests.

To date, the city has not released the proposal. They have cited a discretionary exemption under the state’s open records law that allows a public body to withhold information that it believes would "adversely affect" its bargaining or negotiating position.

Since February, city staff across several departments have reviewed the proposal and requested more information from the bidder. The city said in the spring it expected to conclude its review and announce a next step in the process by the end of June.

The city is poised to take on the Coliseum redevelopment as the Council has worked to tie up loose ends from two significantly smaller economic development deals - the Washington Redskins' Training Camp facility and Stone Brewing facility and bistro - brokered under former Mayor Dwight C. Jones.

Council President Chris Hilbert said he expected the Council to take its time reviewing and amending whatever plan the Stoney administration puts forward to build a new Coliseum.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a take-it-or-leave-it proposal,” Hilbert said. “I think those days are over.”

 
 
 
 
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5 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Dang it.  I need to subscribe to read it.  :(  Can anyone provide a synopsis?

Hopefully BizSense will satisfy our needs in the morning.

Nevermind, thanks Downtowner!!

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This is all just wonderful news - that things are moving in the right direction. I’m just anxious to see actual site plans and renderings!  It will never happen, but it would also be nice to see the baseball park incorporated into this plan...it was a nice dream. 

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