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Richmond mayor unveils $1.5B downtown redevelopment plan

August 5, 2019

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Monday unveiled a $1.5 billion redevelopment deal for part of the city’s downtown that includes plans for a new arena that would be the largest in the state.

Stoney introduced the legislation at a special City Council meeting. Hundreds of pages of plans lay out the deal Stoney’s administration spent months negotiating with a private development group, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

That group, NH District Corp., is led by Dominion Energy CEO Thomas Farrell.

The proposal includes plans for a 17,500-seat arena, a high-rise hotel, apartments, commercial space and other features.

Stoney’s administration says the project has the potential to reshape Richmond for generations to come.

“The agreement we have negotiated ensures that the Navy Hill development project will create thousands of jobs, hundreds of affordable housing units, job-training opportunities, new revenue, and world-class amenities for all Richmonders,” the mayor said in a statement last week.

But critics have questioned those big promises, as well as the project’s financing arrangement, which depends on a tax increment financing zone.

Council President Cynthia Newbille said Monday the council would have a consultant review the plan. A citizen commission will also weigh in.

A vote isn’t likely before the end of the year, the newspaper reported.

“I don’t want to be crammed down our throats,” 8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammel told TV station WRIC. “I think we need to take our time with this.”

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