Richmond casino sites are up for grabs
With a future casino at least temporarily off the table in Richmond, two of the three land parcels that hopeful developers had been eyeing as future casino sites are back on the market, while the third will remain a movie theater.
In spring 2021, city officials selected Urban One Inc.’s proposal to build a $565 million resort casino on a 100-acre site owned by Henrico County-based Altria Group Inc. off Interstate 95. Voters narrowly rejected the casino proposal in a November 2021 referendum, although there is a possibility that a second attempt at the casino referendum could return to Richmond ballots this fall.
In the meantime, while the Altria-owned South Richmond property formally remains under contract with Urban One, Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer is actively marketing the parcel for sale as an office, industrial or retail location for an undisclosed sum, says Altria spokesman Steve Callahan.
In addition to the Altria site, city officials earlier considered casino proposals for the 17-acre Bow Tie Cinema property off Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond’s Scott’s Addition area, and at an 82.5-acre parcel just east of Chesterfield County’s Bon Air neighborhood.
Joe Masher, Bow Tie Cinemas’ chief operating officer, says that there are no plans to sell or develop the Bow Tie property, where The Cordish Cos. had proposed building a casino.
“Movieland is here to stay,” Masher says, referring to the theater on the Bow Tie site. “We’re going to continue on and keep providing entertainment to Richmond for years to come.”
Parkway Crossings of Richmond, where Bally’s Corp. was vying to build a casino, is back on the market as the largest available, privately owned parcel of undeveloped land in the city. The site is adjacent to a 166.44-acre parcel in Chesterfield County that is also for sale.
Garrett Hart, economic director for Chesterfield County, said last year that the combined nearly 250 acres could be the future home of a “major midtown development,” not unlike those seen in Tysons in Northern Virginia.
The massive swath of land stands out as a rare undeveloped property, surrounded by neighborhoods and retail, but the sellers are in no hurry.
“When the right project buyers come along, they’ll know it,” says Nathan Shor, senior vice president and regional manager for S.L. Nusbaum Realty Co. “It’s a family that’s owned it for a very long time, and they are very patient.”