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New Richmond Arena


eandslee

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

What’s brilliant is the use of renewable energy (solar energy) which will help pay for itself in the long run!  I’m not one of those crazy solar guys, but I support it if it works and if it looks good!  Plus, I think this is a good selling point for the more liberal city government - they love this kind of stuff!

Incorporating renewables is a great idea.  A big part of Richmond's appeal is a high quality of life and a greener, green-focused city contributes to that.  It dovetails nicely with Richmond's status as America's best river city.   

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I love ALMOST everything about this proposal. The resoration of the street grid, the focus on mixed use and walkable development, the sheer scale of the project and the use of renewable energy, plus the fact that it’s a privately financed development.

However, there are a few things I think they could improve on, such as the design inside the arena and the height and design of the buildings.

The buildings, other than the hotel, seem to be 5-6 stories with very little variation in the heights. Adding a few taller buildings that maybe are around 10+ stories in the mix could really help the look of the development from the air. 

From what I can see in the rendering, the buildings all appear to look bland and plain, as well as all of them looking the exact same. Changing the design or hiring multiple different architects to design the different blocks could add some diversity and character to the area.

Other than those two concerns, I love every aspect of this development and hope to see more final renderings soon and news on it.

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Is Dominion looking for a tax break? I was under the impression the project would require a tax incremental financing district to offset the costs for the public facilities like the arena, and Dominion would be willing to place its new towers, several blocks away, into the district to help fund it. They may actually be suggesting they would pay a higher real estate tax rate. Looking forward to the details. 

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$425M was the profit (not income) listed on the Forbes site (and it was a disappointing year... mild weather). 

The  Arena  District in Columbus is sited by the developers as a model for this project.  It was in the planning stages when I attended Ohio State back in 1993.  It is still not built out. That’s 25 years.  

It isn't negative to suggest that a Fortune 500 company not try to roll its debt into a project across town.   Of course the investors need to be  incentivized.  There has been no real interest in this part of town for 50 years.. nothing short of giving away the bank will get this built.  I’m not sure that we should be too eager to roll a building that is nearly complete and has nothing to do with this development into the incentives package though....

Hopefully it’s more like what coupe is suggesting.  I still think it’s s red flag that the new Dominion building has anything to do with this.  It’s voodoo economics at best, a fleecing at worst.. 

Edited by Brent114
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And I’m only negative about this (and that horrible crap hole in Carytown).

I believe it is acceptable to use public money to spur private investment.  I would love to attend hockey games again in Richmond.  A bus transfer station is embarrassingly past due. 

I don’t believe that this is the best place for housing.  Investors say we are nearing peak housing, I’d be thrilled about a land swap that put this housing component in Monroe Ward where it could have a spillover effect in stead of a landlocked area that will forever be isolated from existing housing and services in the city.   I never believed in the financing scheme.  I don’t like multiblock mega projects because they tend to kill downtowns more than they help them and the aesthetics are generally deplorable. 

While making Leigh Street at grade again would be awesome, it isn’t workable and I’m tired of people wasting energy on it.  The solution could  probably cost  $100million  and that money could be used more wisely on  literally any other scheme.  The mechanical and service entrance for  Altria is in the dip. The grade would be too steep for service trucks to get up the hill to 5th or 6th Streets.  Tunneling under 5th or 6th would be necessary (capping Leigh  + a service lane out of the dip to 3rd).  IMO. This street is just unfortunate for another 3-4 decades. 

All that said, of course I think the renderings look great (but I agree that height variation is sorely needed). 

Edited by Brent114
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44 minutes ago, drayrichmond said:

Will someone with a subscription post the articles here...I can’t read them?  Not sure if anyone else can or is willing.  You can also opt to summarize the articles too (perhaps with some quotes here and there).  Thanks in advance. 

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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

Will someone with a subscription post the articles here...I can’t read them?  Not sure if anyone else can or is willing.  You can also opt to summarize the articles too (perhaps with some quotes here and there).  Thanks in advance. 

Nevermind - the articles are too long. I got a log in and read them. 

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2 hours ago, Brent114 said:

And I’m only negative about this (and that horrible crap hole in Carytown).

I believe it is acceptable to use public money to spur private investment.  I would love to attend hockey games again in Richmond.  A bus transfer station is embarrassingly past due. 

I don’t believe that this is the best place for housing.  Investors say we are nearing peak housing, I’d be thrilled about a land swap that put this housing component in Monroe Ward where it could have a spillover effect in stead of a landlocked area that will forever be isolated from existing housing and services in the city.   I never believed in the financing scheme.  I don’t like multiblock mega projects because they tend to kill downtowns more than they help them and the aesthetics are generally deplorable. 

While making Leigh Street at grade again would be awesome, it isn’t workable and I’m tired of people wasting energy on it.  The solution could  probably cost  $100million  and that money could be used more wisely on  literally any other scheme.  The mechanical and service entrance for  Altria is in the dip. The grade would be too steep for service trucks to get up the hill to 5th or 6th Streets.  Tunneling under 5th or 6th would be necessary (capping Leigh  + a service lane out of the dip to 3rd).  IMO. This street is just unfortunate for another 3-4 decades. 

All that said, of course I think the renderings look great (but I agree that height variation is sorely needed). 

They are saying 24 mil to raise the street. 

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2 minutes ago, RVAbigdawg said:

Holy cow, that looks amazing!!!!  PLEASE APPROVE THIS, CITY OF RICHMOND!!!

Seriously!  This HAS to happen!  This is probably the only chance Richmond has to get this done.  We supporters need to be LOUDER than the naysayers!  We can’t let this opportunity pass us by. 

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1 minute ago, eandslee said:

Seriously!  This HAS to happen!  This is probably the only chance Richmond has to get this done.  We supporters need to be LOUDER than the naysayers!  We can’t let this opportunity pass us by. 

This would be quite a legacy for Farrell and that group of his (and the mayor) if this gets passed and built.  And for once, I'd enjoy going to a new arena.  I cringe every time I see it from City Hall's observation deck.   But best of all, this is money for the city that they've never had and have never been able to get ahold of to update schools, fix problem areas, all of that.  This looks to be a real game changer for Richmond and I will be absolutely shocked if they turn this down.  It wouldn't surprise me if that group comes up with a plan for a new baseball stadium in the near future as well.  I mean, why not?????  Time for this city to grow the h up!

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45 minutes ago, RVAbigdawg said:

This would be quite a legacy for Farrell and that group of his (and the mayor) if this gets passed and built.  And for once, I'd enjoy going to a new arena.  I cringe every time I see it from City Hall's observation deck.   But best of all, this is money for the city that they've never had and have never been able to get ahold of to update schools, fix problem areas, all of that.  This looks to be a real game changer for Richmond and I will be absolutely shocked if they turn this down.  It wouldn't surprise me if that group comes up with a plan for a new baseball stadium in the near future as well.  I mean, why not?????  Time for this city to grow the h up!

I can’t read the RTD articles about proposed financing but my understanding about how TIF districts work is that all tax revenue generated by the development goes back into improvements within district boundaries and to pay off development bonds. It’s too optimistic  to think this development would improve schools or other city services until a very long time from now.  A TIF district is a self-serving island until the development is paid off - I’ve seen examples that last at least 20 years or more.

While the renderings are impressive, flashy, and exciting to imagine for that area,  why does the dominion tower property get to be attached to this unrelated geographic area across downtown? Yes i realize it’s politics in play. But is this proposal really more about corporate welfare for Dominion masquerading as the great saving grace of north downtown? A food hall in the armory? Didn’t Richmond try that already and fail with the 6th Street Marketplace? 

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I like the street grid and density.  Especially love the solar panels.  My only gripe, always have to have some, lack of height.  It would great to have some that really scream "look at me".   Having more height would give more opportunity for great architecture and exterior lighting. 

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Wow I missed a lot here. Renderings look nice, but buildings are kind of bland and squat other than the one tall one in the center there. Should increase height across the board, particularly on the two empty parcels that will be completely redone. The rest just appear to be new facades on parking garages. Like the green roofs and panels. Hope there's not too much city investment, this should first and foremost be Dominion's investment since they initiated their own proposal with Farrell and co. I don't mind public investment, but i don't want a Redskins camp 2.0 and especially given the public return of investment with arenas and sports facilities, I'd be cautious with the excitement.

Other than all that, I'm ready for shovels in the ground. That part of downtown is the next to transform (and after that Monroe Ward. hopefully.)

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This is very exciting!! Finally some forward thinkers. We just need some forward doers now. This gives us a chance to create a new identity. One that says  progressive and modern. Richmond has been asleep far too long. We are finally in a position where we wake up and answer the call of the bell!! As a city we need and deserve this.

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8 hours ago, vaceltic said:

I can’t read the RTD articles about proposed financing....

Someone on Reddit offered up their username and password to read the articles. I used it yesterday and it worked fine.  Perhaps everyone should read the articles.  Some of you are too overly cautious about nothing (IMO).  After reading, then weigh in:

username:

sarahlpedersen

Password:

4me2use

 

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24 minutes ago, eandslee said:

Someone on Reddit offered up their username and password to read the articles. I used it yesterday and it worked fine.  Perhaps everyone should read the articles.  Some of you are too overly cautious about nothing (IMO).  After reading, then weigh in:

username:

sarahlpedersen

Password:

4me2use

 

Thanks Eandslee for the access to the articles. Both articles call out a lot of holes in the current proposal. Namely, Dominion Tower in the TIF district is a non-starter and the quantity of affordable housing is too low. Hopefully, negotiations continue for a much better deal for the city, but there are VERY lofty projections in the developer’s numbers estimate. So many things that have to break right to make this development work. 

I’m just as much a homer for Richmond’s success as anyone here, but I’m skeptical of the complexity involved here.  

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I think having the new Dom tower included in the TIF is a fair trade for what they're trying to do. If it is reduced any then I'll change my tune. They're essentially rebuilding an entire neighborhood and street grid, I think I can let them have the tower in the TIF to pay for it. They're paying the taxes either way, the TIF just dedicates it to the project. 

Yeah, the lower income housing was much lower than expected, they need to get that number up somehow. 

My main concern is getting this past city council. If one things kills this outright it will be city council. Call your councilors!! 

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1 minute ago, vaceltic said:

Thanks Eandslee for the access to the articles. Both articles call out a lot of holes in the current proposal. Namely, Dominion Tower in the TIF district is a non-starter and the quantity of affordable housing is too low. Hopefully, negotiations continue for a much better deal for the city, but there are VERY lofty projections in the developer’s numbers estimate. So many things that have to break right to make this development work. 

I’m just as much a homer for Richmond’s success as anyone here, but I’m skeptical of the complexity involved here.  

There are some minor tweaks that need to be worked out as you mentioned, but despite the quote of that being a non-starter is ludicrous (according to the projections, that part is not even needed, but only makes it feel safer for investors to invest). I also feel confident that they will work out an agreeable number of affordable/low income housing units (all of which NH said was negociable).  Additionally, the mayor has hired a third party to confirm NH’s projection numbers, so that will be a safety net for the city.  Based on those concerns, nothing stands out to me as being a real deal-breaker.  I understand the city being cautious (I’d want them to), but don’t just assume that the project is doomed and full of secret kick-backs to Diminion when there aren’t any.  Farrell takes pride in Richmond and wants it to succeed like any other Richmonder. Why would he propose something that would hurt the city...a city he just invested hundreds of millions of dollars into to build his company’s new HQ?!  That would be foolish and self-defeating. This proposal is designed to make the city better, something that behooves him as the CEO of a major company who wishes for his HQ to be located in a top-notched city. Otherwise he would take his company out and move elsewhere.  Richmonders have to think logically here and stop the same ‘ol doubting bit and being negative. This is a new time and rebirth for Richmond!  Stop trying to prevent it from happening.  You’ll just be shooting yourself in the foot!

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16 minutes ago, jbjust said:

Let’s be clear, including the Dominion buildings in the TIF has no effect on Dominion.   They pay the same bill to the city either way, but placing them into the TIF would dedicate that revenue stream to pay off that project. 

That's the problem, I'm afraid most people won't quite understand that, and automatically jump to thinking it's a huge tax break for Dominion. NH Corp and the City need to work over time to really get that message out there that the money would be used for the project, not go back in to Dominion coffers. 

Lets also keep in mind, and I think they need to harp on this too, that the economic ripple effect from a project this size should be quite noticeable. 

Quick example: A larger hotel and new arena should attract larger/more conventions which in turn means more people flying to RIC or taking the train to Main Street Station, renting cars, getting hotel rooms, eating out, etc... That alone will give a big a boost to city income and growth. 

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10 minutes ago, drayrichmond said:

That's the problem, I'm afraid most people won't quite understand that, and automatically jump to thinking it's a huge tax break for Dominion. NH Corp and the City need to work over time to really get that message out there that the money would be used for the project, not go back in to Dominion coffers. 

The article makes it sound like the towers would only be included in the TIF district of the development wasn’t money generating on its own. I think a lot of people might be concerned with the two Dominion Towers $7.7 million in annual taxes being used as collateral and taxes redirected until 2049 into an area with no schools.

 

Edited by vaceltic
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