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Richmond Coliseum Redevelopment Plan to be Introduced

Richmond Coliseum redevelopment rendering

A proposed Richmond Coliseum redevelopment project that includes a new arena is taking another step forward, as Richmond mayor Levar Stoney will present it to the city council Monday.

NH District Corp–a group led by Dominion Energy CEO Thomas F. Farrell II–is proposing a $1.5-billion redevelopment of 21 publicly owned acres north of Broad Street in downtown Richmond. A new 17,500-seat arena factors into the current plans, while the Richmond Coliseum would be torn down. The larger development project would also include a high-rise hotel, apartments, commercial and office space, dining and retail space, infrastructure improvements, and more.

Stoney first endorsed the concept last fall, and will present the current project plans to the Richmond City Council on Monday. From there, a decision on whether or not to move forward with the project–which calls for the creation of a tax-increment financing (TIF) district–will be in the city council’s hands. More from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The group’s proposal calls for a 17,500-seat arena that would replace the Richmond Coliseum and become the largest arena in the state; a high-rise hotel with at least 525 rooms; 2,500 apartments, with 480 reserved for people earning less than the region’s median income of about $83,000 for a family of four; 1 million square feet of commercial and office space; 260,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; a $10 million renovation of the Blues Armory; a new transfer plaza for GRTC bus riders; and infrastructure improvements aimed at making the area easier to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists.

The project previously was pegged as costing $1.4 billion. An NH District spokesperson attributed the increase to time and changes in market conditions.

The public portion of the project would be largely underwritten by the creation of the city’s first tax-increment financing district….

The council last year formed a citizen advisory commission to review the plans and issue a report on its findings. The commission’s work is expected to take three months and would defer a council vote on the project until later this year.

Richmond Coliseum originally opened in 1971 and can accommodate roughly 13,000 people, so the proposed new arena would represent a larger and more modern replacement. Should the plan move forward, Richmond could use the new arena to lure large events to the city–perhaps including concerts, sports tournaments, and more.

Renderings courtesy NH District Corp.

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