Richmond receives 5 proposals for City Center project
Evaluators to narrow field in coming weeks
Five groups of developers sent in proposals to redevelop Richmond’s newly rebranded City Center Innovation District, a 9.4-acre downtown area that includes the closed Richmond Coliseum, the Richmond Economic Development Authority and the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority announced Wednesday.
An evaluation panel will assess the five entries and pare them down to a short list this winter, according to the announcement.
The development teams include:
- Capstone Development LLC, a Maryland-based real estate development company that’s part of the Diamond District redevelopment team;
- City Center Gateway Partners;
- Lincoln Property Co., a Dallas-based real estate developer;
- Richmond Community Development Partners; and
- Sterling Bilder LLC, a Richmond-based developer.
In November, the two Richmond authorities issued a request for interest to redevelop City Center, with a submission deadline Tuesday to be considered for the project’s first phase. According to the city’s 242-page request for interest (RFI), the plan must include demolition of the Coliseum, which has been closed since 2019, and development of a hotel with at least 500 rooms and meeting space. The City Center Innovation District Small Area Plan suggests adding public green spaces on part of the Coliseum footprint, with a main plaza at the intersection of North 6th and East Clay streets that could “serve as a citywide convening space” for concerts, festivals and ice skating when weather permits. Smaller spaces could be used for outdoor dining, playgrounds or other uses, according to the small area plan, which was released in November 2021.
Capstone Development is part of the RVA Diamond Partners team, which is the joint venture that the city has selected to redevelop the Diamond District, a 67-acre property that includes The Diamond, the Richmond Flying Squirrels’ baseball field.
Richmond Community Development Partners was a finalist for the city’s Diamond District redevelopment project as part of a group that included San Francisco-based commercial real estate company JMA Ventures, Houston-based Machete Group and Tryline Capital, which has offices in Connecticut and New York, the Richmond office of Gilbane Building Co., Richmond-based Davis Brothers Construction Co. and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Odell Associates Inc. It’s not known if the members remain the same for the City Center proposal.
Sterling Bilder’s Joshua Bilder submitted a $1.4 billion proposal to the city in 2019 to redevelop the City Center area, including a $168 million renovation to the Coliseum, an $8 million hotel in the historic Blues Armory building and a $17.4 million apartment complex. Bilder proposed the plan as an alternative to the NH District Corp.’s $1.5 billion Navy Hill proposal to replace the Coliseum, a plan that eventually was rejected by Richmond City Council in early 2020.
A full list of companies and investors making up the development teams vying for the City Center project — including City Center Gateway Partners and RCDP — was not included in Wednesday’s announcement. In late November, the two city authorities hosted an in-person site visit attended by several architecture firms, developers, builders and others, including Baskervill, Capital Square, Capstone, Hourigan Group and W.M. Jordan Co.