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Development Opportunity

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Diamond District

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By the end of 2021, the City of Richmond will be issuing a Request for Interest (RFI) to solicit creative development responses from capable and experienced development teams interested in redeveloping 66.7 acres of under-developed, publicly-owned property along the I-95 east coast corridor into a mixed-use, mixed-income entertainment destination. The City has been preparing for a redevelopment of this strategic site for a number of years and, in the process, has relocated city functions, demolished buildings, and remediated the site with the exception of the baseball stadium and the Arthur Ashe Junior Athletic Center.

Why

This project was outlined in Richmond 300 and the Greater Scott’s Addition Small Area Plan which has both been approved by Richmond City Council. 

Since Richmond 300, the city’s award-winning master plan was adopted in December 2020, the city has taken many steps to implement the plan’s vision, including the adoption of the Greater Scott’s Addition Small Area Plan. Regarding the Greater Scott’s Addition Small Area Plan, the key first step to move the plan forward was rezoning the property to align with the Future Land Use plan. The Greater Scott’s Addition rezoning initiatives were approved by City Council in July 2021. City Council also passed a resolution in April 2021 approving the biennial real estate plan which declared the parcels surplus and calls for redeveloping this property into a mixed-use development. The next step outlined in the masterplan is issuing a Request for Interest (RFI) to redevelop the City-owned land between North Ashe Boulevard and Hermitage Road using the framework outlined in the Greater Scott’s Addition Small Area Plan and including elements such as a large-scale park; mixed-income housing; mixed-uses breaking up the superblock creating a street grid to incorporate features that support walking, biking, and transit; and incorporating engaging architecture, public spaces, sidewalks, street trees, buildings built to the street, and street furniture. The city is developing the RFI, and it will be released by the end of 2021. 

This is an incredible opportunity for the City of Richmond and its residents. 

  • In 2019, there were approximately 458 acres of vacant/underdeveloped land in Greater Scott's Addition, representing 60% of Greater Scott's Addition's total land area. Redeveloping the land will generate much-needed tax revenue while creating opportunities for new housing, green space, entertainment, and employment in an entirely new neighborhood.  
  • More than 45% of the nation’s population lives within an 8-hour drive of Richmond 
  • 38 of the top 50 employers are within 10 miles of the Diamond District
  • The Diamond District is located at the crossroads of I-95 and I-64 that connect Richmond west to Charlottesville (1.25-hr drive), east to the Hampton Roads region and the largest naval base in the world (2-hr drive), north to Washington DC (1.5-hr drive), and south to the Raleigh-Durham and Chapel Hill area (2-hrs).
  • Richmond’s easy living and convenient access to diverse markets has translated into 11.5% city and regional growth rate since 2010.

Vision

Richmond 300 paints a vivid picture of a more connected, green, and equitable development of the Diamond District. In this vision, The Diamond is demolished and a new multi-purpose stadium is constructed. New buildings provide employment, retail, and mixed-income housing. A new street grid incorporates features that create a walkable urban experience with engaging architecture and urban design. Visitors to Greater Scott’s Addition have the option to safely arrive by foot, bike, transit, or car.  Parking is centralized in a few parking garages to encourage users to park once and visit multiple destinations.  A signature park between Ashe and Hermitage serves as a central convening space and is connected with greenways to multiple smaller public parks. The redeveloped Diamond District connects to adjacent established neighborhoods and redeveloping neighborhoods. The Greater Scott’s Addition Small Area Plan provides a general vision for future development; however, exact locations of buildings and features need not be replicated.

Diamond Vision

What's Next

The City intends to release a Request for Interest (RFI) by the end of 2021. The RFI will outline the City’s goals for the property (drawn from the Small Area Plan in Richmond 300), the evaluation criteria for selecting a development team, the submission requirements for submitting a response, and the process for selecting a development team to redevelop the property. 

Who Is Involved

As the owner of 60 acres of land, the City is the primary lead on redeveloping this property. Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) owns 6 acres of land within the site, the location of the Sports Backers Stadium. The City and VCU are partnering on the redevelopment of the property, with the City leading the effort.