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Everyone loves surveys, right?

Have a thought, idea, or question regarding the plans to redevelop the blocks between North 5th and North 10th Streets, and between East Leigh and East Marshall Streets? Take a survey and help the city out. Your response will help shape the future of downtown Richmond. If you’re in the mood to go in person, click here to view the in-person workshops. The City has these goals:
  • Support the City’s Master Plan – These blocks anchor the City’s official growth plan as an “economic opportunity area.”
  • New Tax Base – The City wants to generate new revenue.
  • Poverty mitigation – The redevelopment can create jobs of all skill levels for City residents.
  • Job training opportunities – The project should create local job opportunities, internships, and on-the-job learning experiences for students of all ages.
  • Community Revitalization – The area consists of many properties that are not currently utilized to their full market potential. They could make more money for the City.
  • Infrastructure Improvements – Proposals should include ways to pay for infrastructure to handle new traffic, more people and bikes, and changing land uses.
  • Sustainable Development – Proposals should promote sustainability, consistent with the Mayor’s RVAgreen 2050 plan to reduce carbon emissions. The city wants to see clean energy resources, reliable and resilient our energy systems, and more efficient and affordable energy use.
  • Richmond Public Schools – Proposals should positively impact Richmond Public Schools.
  • Enhance City Brand – The redevelopment should elevate the City’s image and brand regionally, across the country, and around the world.
  • Minority Business support – The Proposal should advance opportunities for minority and emerging small business enterprises.

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5 comments

Elaine Odell 01/20/2018 at 1:14 PM

Full disclosure: the survey and the “public info” events are being held by a developer bidding on the city-issued-RFP. There is some speculation (good sources) that claim bid is rigged, and this developer actually wrote the RFP.

It’s all about building an new arena to replace the coliseum. In addition, the developer wants to replace both the John Marshall Courthouse and Social Services Buildings (both of which provide essential services) with another hotel/office building or retail/entertainment space.

What they don’t tell you in their hype for the “public info” meetings is where and who is gonna pay for relocating the Courthouse, the Social Services Office.

The only building in this area that is truly in need of demo and replacement with a higher/better use is the “Public Safety” bldg between 10th and 9th streets.

The CEO of Dominion Power is behind this whole silly idea. Dom isn’t content with ruining the VA wilderness for an unnecessary pipeline. Now, they want to f–k with RVA.

Reply
lanny 01/21/2018 at 11:05 AM

Why, Richmond, why, does our city propose to start things just as other cities end them.

For instance, why is Richmond constructing, in various parts of the city and at great expense to taxpayers, “benches” at bus stops when many other cities have been removing them for years. A quick search gives many more than the two listed below:

Anaheim: https://www.ocregister.com/2017/07/05/to-prevent-homeless-taking-over-bus-stops-anaheim-removes-benches-around-disneyland/

Chicago: https://chi.streetsblog.org/2013/08/29/eyes-on-the-street-bus-stop-benches-removed-to-prevent-loitering/

And now a potentially very costly Why, Richmond, why?

Why is the city’s current administration considering TIF for this massive gentrification project? The use of TIFs first occurred in California in the 50s; but their use was halted in 2010 in response to that state’s fiscal emergency proclamation. The primary reason for California’s ending the use of TIF districts was the crippling diversion of all the increase in real estate taxes from state coffers: what happens with a TIF is that increased real estate tax revenue that might be the result of improvements in such a district is diverted from public funding for a period of 20 to 25 years.

How does this help Richmond’s current financial crunch?

Also, TIF districts are meant to target areas in which private investment would not be otherwise attracted. That is so clearly not an issue in the area outlined: maybe along parts of Jefferson Davis Highway but not downtown Richmond.

Further, the definition of ‘blighted properties’ for the purposes of TIF is pretty tight, and as #1 here points out there are clearly properties within the boundaries of this gentrification project that are not blighted.

And boundaries of TIF districts are almost always larger than the area specifically targeted…which means the city will forego even more tax revenue for up to a quarter of a century.

I can think of many reasons Richmond’s “leaders” might try to sell this to us but none of the reasons are complimentary.

Someone else can address financing via special service districts.

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