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Diamond Area / Hermitage Rd Corridor / Ownby District


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2 hours ago, Brent114 said:

I’m not sure what to make of this concept. 

Felt the same thing when I saw the article this morning, I wish them luck. They’re sinking what looks to be a lot of $ on this, hope they know what they’re doing. I could envision something like this in a much busier/bigger city, think Vegas, Atlantic City (when it was decent) or cities with pro sports where 70k show up all at once and the large crowds also look for things to do before/after etc, like a captive audience. 

Edited by Hike
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2 hours ago, wrldcoupe4 said:

Speaking of lazy, looks like demolition is occurring for the strip mall drive thru project Thalhimer is doing across from the Diamond. 

How I wish Harry Potter or Hermione Granger could simply wave a magic wand and simply make this monstrosity magically disappear and be replaced by a wonderful, high-density, high-intensity, mixed-used cluster of double-digit-height buildings.

Strip mall - "POOF!!! BE GONE!!!" :tw_glasses:

Edited by I miss RVA
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Folks, Richmond City Council is going to find a way to kill the Diamond District project and the new baseball stadium. Hate to say it, but they will kill it. Why?  Because of resentment!  It’s tit for tat.  Jones and Trammell are resentful that the casino didn’t get passed for south Richmond.  Navy Hill didn’t pass.  Jones mentions there could be 3 major projects going on in the city right now, but now, because of resentment, there will likely be none (that’s my opinion - it isn’t a done deal yet).  This is why Richmond can’t do anything and become what it has the potential to become.  We have absolute morons on this city council!  If the Diamond District passes, it will be a miracle!  These people can’t get out of their own way and who suffers?  The city as a whole.  So frustrating!
 

RBS did some good reporting from last night’s Council meeting. Here it is:

https://richmondbizsense.com/2022/07/26/diamond-district-developer-selection-looms-as-talks-with-finalists-continue/

Edited by eandslee
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1 hour ago, eandslee said:

Folks, Richmond City Council is going to find a way to kill the Diamond District project and the new baseball stadium. 

Just read this as well, didn’t realize this will require a super majority to pass or a 7 yes 2 no to pass, looking at this alone, feel this one is not looking good. I’m not sure why I was under the impression this was a done deal and was already agreed upon, but that’s clearly not the case here and feel like you, this doesn’t look good.

Edited by Hike
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32 minutes ago, upzoningisgood said:

Plus, the issue with the casino was that it failed the public referendum. The only issue be brought up that was actually on council was Navy Hill. Personally, I think axing it was the right choice but no need to relitigate that.

Despite it being a referendum, the folks in the southside view the casino proposal as one that was killed by folks living in the Scott’s Addition area and parts north of the southside. The southside constituents want Jones and Trammell to “stick it” to those who killed the casino deal and vote the Diamond District proposal down!

And this is what it’s come to - tit for tat. 

Edited by eandslee
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Reread the article. Definitely see that with Trammel. Guess I didn’t register her quote the first time. I think Jones is more ambiguous. 
 

Here’s Jones:

“It would have been great for this to be the third major economic development deal to happen in this city,” Jones said. “I’m just one to remind us of that, of what we allowed to slip through this council’s control. We could have dramatically changed the upward mobility of this entire region. But we missed that opportunity, and we can’t let that go unheralded.”
 

I think this quote hinges on what he means by “unheralded”.

Edited by upzoningisgood
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Four things:

1). I think we’re ok - in the article it sounds like 4-5 of the members are already on board.  I got the sense that Jones was simply expressing frustrations, but will support the project to not strikeout a “3rd time”.  Reva is just plain irrational, so we likely can’t count on her vote.  She is a major disservice to this city.  Unbelievably childish - I didn’t get my project so you can’t have yours - we just can’t have such destructively vengeful people in positions of power like this.

2)  How ridiculous is  it that we may already be off of the tight timeline due to our inability to even PICK a proposal on time?  Sheesh!

3.). If we continue to move forward with the attitude of rejecting proposals out of resentment for past debacles, where does that end?  Do we just keep blocking other districts opportunities out spite?  Sounds like an amazing way to screw all city residents over and stunt the amazing progress RVA has made.  Embarrassing these clowns are pitting districts against districts.

4.)  Hey Henrico, chesterfield…keep your eyes on this one, y’all may have another fumbled into your lap -  a ballpark!

Edited by Virginian11
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I wouldn't read too much into this article.

It's not surprising Jones and Trammell are using their bully pulpit to beotch and moan about not getting their projects. It's good optics for them.

Until something of significant occurs, not meaningless posturing, I'm not going to be concerned.  

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3 hours ago, Urbs42 said:

I wouldn't read too much into this article.

It's not surprising Jones and Trammell are using their bully pulpit to beotch and moan about not getting their projects. It's good optics for them.

Until something of significant occurs, not meaningless posturing, I'm not going to be concerned.  

If there was only some sort of precedent that would say otherwise, then I’d feel more comfortable.  I do like your  optimism though I’ve had positive vibes before with developments, maybe this time it’ll be different. Using baseball terminology,  we’re down by at least one, the count is full, the pitch(es) are in, and we go to commercial. 

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4 hours ago, Virginian11 said:

Four things:

1). I think we’re ok - in the article it sounds like 4-5 of the members are already on board.  I got the sense that Jones was simply expressing frustrations, but will support the project to not strikeout a “3rd time”.  Reva is just plain irrational, so we likely can’t count on her vote.  She is a major disservice to this city.  Unbelievably childish - I didn’t get my project so you can’t have yours - we just can’t have such destructively vengeful people in positions of power like this.

 

As someone who follows Jones a bit, this was my synopsis.  Trammel is just trash, so this is unsurprising, and thankfully her ally is no longer on council.

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Only in Richmond does this happen.

This is why we can't even remotely try to think about staying on the same playing field, much less gaining any ground, on cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, Nashville, Austin. THEY DON'T DO STUPID. WE -- RVA -- HAVE CORNERED THE MARKET ON STUPID AND ARE THE SOLE PROPRIETORS THEREOF.

Edited by I miss RVA
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4 minutes ago, I miss RVA said:

Only in Richmond does this happen.

This is why we can't even remotely try to think about staying on the same playing field, much less gaining any ground, on cities like Charlotte, Atlanta, Raleigh, Nashville, Austin. THEY DON'T DO STUPID. WE -- RVA -- HAVE CORNERED THE MARKET ON STUPID AND ARE THE SOLE PROPRIETORS THEREOF.

It’s laughable almost to the point where it’s so Richmond that it’s our Richmond thing and what makes us unique. Some cities can boast all their new developments, progress and the ease at which they can do them while we celebrate all the potential projects and what they were and what they could have been. I still hold out hope here, but it’s fun to say this because it’s so true.

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14 minutes ago, Hike said:

It’s laughable almost to the point where it’s so Richmond that it’s our Richmond thing and what makes us unique. Some cities can boast all their new developments, progress and the ease at which they can do them while we celebrate all the potential projects and what they were and what they could have been. 

PERFECTLY said, @Hike!  You nailed it, my friend. I agree with you 100%. :tw_thumbsup:

Welp... there ya go, folks - for those of you who just LOVE Richmond's "uniqueness" and don't want her to change because she's so unique - this is it right here. We've got "uniqueness" down in buckets on this one. NO other city in anywhere across this great land of ours can match RVA when it comes to THIS level of uniqueness.

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With all of that said, it sounds like the Diamond District developer selection process is still in work. We probably will not know who is selected until next month…unfortunately…unless there is some sort of breakthrough this week.  I will keep my fingers crossed. 

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44 minutes ago, eandslee said:

With all of that said, it sounds like the Diamond District developer selection process is still in work. We probably will not know who is selected until next month…unfortunately…unless there is some sort of breakthrough this week.  I will keep my fingers crossed. 

One of the comments to the RBS article is something we should keep in mind - and it should concern all of us. Hoping and praying this timeframe does NOT play out. (How TYPICAL would it be, though, for it to play out like this?)

Here is the comment:

"Article fails to mention that Council is OFF in August. Unless they do an emergency meeting for the intro and decision on an agreement go on the docket after Labor Day and will be in committees for 30-45 days (and if the member want district/citizen meetings more like 90 days) and then be back for a final vote on any agreement in October or November. Per the previous articles; they probably WON’T have a deal before the New Year let alone move any dirt. And even once the agreement is signed a TIF deal would involve some kind of entity being created that sells the bonds. That means by-laws, member for that board found and appointed, lots of legal stuff and then a bond sale all before the first permit is reviewed and dirt turned. Go look at the Broad St CDA timeframe. With interest rates soaring and borrowing costs going up I think this project is headed for the drain (unless it gets a strong moral backing)."

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47 minutes ago, Flood Zone said:

There’s less skepticism here than Navy Hill.

I think there are enough yes votes for the no votes to be theatrical.

Organized Baseball isn’t throwing away a 1.3M metro area over a few months.

1.) DD vs Navy Hill: Very true. If nothing else, the process itself has made public pushback less likely - and we know there was a ton of pushback against NH if for no other reason than HOW the process was handled.

2.) Votes: I can buy that, though there's little margin for error. Safe to say that one of the two "no" votes we can afford to concede is already locked in place. Which means we have to get seven of the remaining eight votes -- and given the decades long disfunction of City Council - a malady that just seems to carry on generation after generation, I don't know that I trust this body to hammer out a 7-2 vote in favor. Common sense SHOULD prevail, but it never seems to with this group.

3.) 1.3-plus M metro - that's the most logical thing I have heard in this discussion. I agree - it would be hard to believe that MLB would toss aside a market this size over a slight delay of a few months. Now if the thing was badly derailed and coming down to actual MLB-imposed deadline with no movement and no apparent solution in site, I can easily see the baseball powers that be throwing up their hands and walking. The old saying of "you can lead a horse to water..." would certainly apply.

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I'm loving these slow news days from RBS. Usually when they are posting "fluff" pieces that usually don't warrant the front page it means they're busy working on a good piece... of which I assume is related to the Diamond District.  

 

The feel feels right to me. Just pure speculation: I think we'll hear about Diamond progress this week from RBS.

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I agree. The HOW of this process is light years better in terms of transparency and inclusion than Navy Hill or the Casino. RVA at 1.3 million is the 44th largest MSA, so yes, I suspect MLB wants our market share when most of our peers at the AA level are more in the 75-150th MSA size. I think the biggest contingency will come down to how they structure the financials, specifically the use and boundaries of a TIF/TAD. The Navy Hill TIF was just bonkers and felt so gerrymandered with so many fragile dependencies for it to pencil (see second Dominion tower). For the Diamond District to get buy-in and not get hijacked by "another 6th St. Marketplace" narrative, it will need to have a much more logical TIF boundary and not put the burden/trade-off on more of the city. The actual market demand for this, and the fundamentals behind it, seem far more solid than most any econ. dev. "big project" I've seen the city pursue in my lifetime.

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3 hours ago, flaneur said:

I agree. The HOW of this process is light years better in terms of transparency and inclusion than Navy Hill or the Casino. RVA at 1.3 million is the 44th largest MSA, so yes, I suspect MLB wants our market share when most of our peers at the AA level are more in the 75-150th MSA size. I think the biggest contingency will come down to how they structure the financials, specifically the use and boundaries of a TIF/TAD. The Navy Hill TIF was just bonkers and felt so gerrymandered with so many fragile dependencies for it to pencil (see second Dominion tower). For the Diamond District to get buy-in and not get hijacked by "another 6th St. Marketplace" narrative, it will need to have a much more logical TIF boundary and not put the burden/trade-off on more of the city. The actual market demand for this, and the fundamentals behind it, seem far more solid than most any econ. dev. "big project" I've seen the city pursue in my lifetime.

Well said, @flaneur. This process IS different than what took place with NH and, as you said, perhaps ANY previous city-initiated/city-backed economic redevelopment "big project" going back as far as I can remember. I recall how frought the process was to get Project One off the ground. I noticed when surfing the RT-D's photo archives that the original Project One proposal included an office tower on Broad Street between 4th and 5th - where the southernmost part of the Richmond Convention Center is today. The politics surrounding Project One's development was dripping with vitriol and animous - and sadly, the result was a watered down version of what was originally planned. So this kind of epic "big project" failure goes back a generation or two in RVA because of the ridiculous politics, corruption, incompetence, etc., within the four walls of the City Council chambers.

Re: Navy Hill: Given how Dominion's second tower has magically disappeared... (And really, did ANYONE honestly think it would actually be built? Phasing in multi-structure complexes may work just fine in other cities, but I've yet to EVER see it work in RVA. Witness the 2nd Monroe Tower... the 2nd Main Street Center building... the second and third phase components of the James Center (two office towers (including a signature tower in excess of 40 stories) AND two condominium towers). I simply don't trust multi-phase developments to EVER fulfill their promise in RVA like they do in other cities. It appears to be either feast or famine - either build EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE - or forget about anything ever going up after the first phase is complete. Seems like - again very uniquely Richmond - once that first phase is built - that's it. Either "there's no further demand" ... or "the market has changed..." or "we don't have the capital at this time to fund the second tower..." or WHATEVER. OTHER cities don't seem to have this problem. Richmond does, and unfortunately has the track record to prove it in buckets. That said - it was a fool's errand to EVER believe Dominion would build that second tower at any point this decade. 

We'll see what comes of the Diamond District. The demand certainly is there because of the baseball component, so there is a notable push to get this done and make it happen. I hope and pray for success - and that said success carries over to City Center - a redevelopment that, despite the lack of the baseball component (or maybe BECAUSE of it) - is every bit as important and needed as is the Diamond District.

This is one of those things where -- yet again -- Richmond's "market size" puts us behind an 8-ball. Were we significantly larger (and to those who really do deep down want to keep RVA small - I'm sorry but RVA getting a LOT bigger NEEDS to happen. We absolutely MUST get SIGNIFICANTLY bigger both city and metro and that's all there is to it) - we could theoretically support BOTH redevelopments rising simultaneously. It would work just fine in Charlotte or Austin or Nashville (and probably Raleigh as well), and I've witnessed it with my own eyes work very well here in Chicago. Our market size is our biggest stumbling block. Add 150K to the city's population and at least 500K to the metro - and I feel certain we could quite comfortably support good, substantial development in both the Diamond District AND City Center at the same time. But quite sadly, I don't see how it can or will happen at this time or at any time in the near future, given our size or rather the relative lack thereof.

I'm going to flip around my lament ("we're still too damn small") from other posts and state it simply: We absolutely MUST get a LOT bigger and that's all there is to it. Period.

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1 minute ago, eandslee said:

Well, one more business day left in July (tomorrow).  Will there be a Diamond District announcement sometime tomorrow?  I have my doubts, but I’m hopeful!

I'm not holding my breath at this point.

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