A $250-million, 17,000-seat arena would anchor a $2.3 billion development in Henrico County, as local developers pitch upgrades on 200 acres northeast of the Interstate 95-Parham Road interchange in greater Richmond.
The site is the former Best Products headquarters in Henrico County. The headquarters covers some 204 acres, partly owned by the county and partly owned by a local developer. The new arena is positioned as a replacement for the Richmond Coliseum, closed down years ago due to poor conditions. There have been a few runs at a replacement, most notably a $1.5-billion redevelopment of a roughly 10-block area in downtown Richmond that includes the original Richmond Coliseum site.
The new plan calls for an arena roughly the size of the proposed Richmond Coliseum replacement, suitable for hosting large touring shows and concerts, college basketball games and tournaments, and other events. The twist here is that developers are proposing a $2.3-billion eco-district called GreenVillage, which will include up to 2,400 residential units, 2.2 million square feet of office space, 280,000 square feet of retail and two 300-bed hotels with conference spaces. Portions of the development could in 2024, with a projected arena opening date in 2025.
The arena would be financed separately from the rest of the project: the developers are proposing a Community Development Authority that would issue tax-free bonds in 2023, to be repaid by additional sales, real estate and personal property taxes generated by the entire GreenCity development. From Richmond BizSense:
“This is a private development that calls for no use of existing county funds and no upfront investment by the county,” said Dan Schmitt, vice chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. He said GreenCity is projected to generate $20 million a year for the county once the bond debt is retired in 30 years, if not sooner.
“This carries no financial risk to our taxpayers. This will not add to the county’s debt. However, it will provide us with jobs, investment and countless other benefits,” Schmitt said, noting that those benefits would be realized during the development.
He added, “I congratulate the developers for their vision. I look forward to reviewing this project and its finances in greater detail as we continue to move forward. It’s a great day in Henrico.”
Rendering courtesy GreenCity LLC.
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