Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in this redevelopment? How is it different from what was first introduced last year?
The Navy Hill redevelopment project will create more than $1 billion in incremental revenue for the City, including more than $500 million annually in new wages, a historic $300 million investment in minority-owned businesses, and more than 12,500 jobs during construction and 9,300 jobs afterward.
The redevelopment area is bound by North Fifth Street, East Leigh Street, North 10th Street and East Marshall Street, and includes the Richmond Coliseum, the historic Blues Armory, two parking garages and parking lots, and the final remnants of Sixth Street Marketplace. Two additional lots outside the primary area will be acquired and developed (5th & Broad Streets and the historic Richmond Garage located at 6th & Grace Streets). The neighborhood is adjacent to the VCU Medical Center, the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park and the Greater Richmond Convention Center, and a short walk to the Central Business District.
The Mayor and City officials negotiated the terms of the proposal to ensure this is a good investment that will not leave taxpayers on the hook. This redevelopment will provide ground-breaking economic opportunities, including: thousands of new jobs, thousands of mixed-income housing units, job training opportunities, surplus revenue for the City and world-class amenities—all without raising taxes. We are confident this project will benefit all Richmonders and allow us to build the downtown we all deserve for the City we love.
Why did it take so long to be introduced to City Council?
NH District Corp. (NHDC) spent a lot of time listening to Richmonders about what they wanted to see in a new downtown and how it could provide economic opportunity for everyone. Thousands of diverse Richmond voices told us what mattered most before submitting our proposal. Then the mayor and City officials negotiated terms to ensure that all Richmond residents benefit from the development and a greater share of the economic benefits.
The mayor and NHDC are confident that this project provides additional protections for taxpayers and that this a good investment for the City that does not leave taxpayers on the hook. Now that an agreement has been reached, the mayor is ready to submit the proposal to City Council. NHDC is eager to continue discussions with City Council and Richmond residents.
What’s the next step for this project, and how will this project be approved? How long will it take to develop?
City Council will hear directly from the mayor, residents, neighborhood and community organizers, and others as they review the proposal. In addition, an independent Advisory Commission formed by City Council will conduct a comprehensive review of the proposal and hold at least four public hearings. We look forward to bringing the entire City into this process—and encourage you to participate—as we build support for a truly historic opportunity to shape the future of Richmond. The proposed development will take about five years to build out completely.
How can someone participate in the Advisory Commission?
The Advisory Commission was formed to provide advice and expert counsel on the redevelopment and will have up to 90 days to produce a report on their findings. The City Council has appointed Pierce Homer as Chairman and John Gerner as Vice Chairman of the Navy Hill Development Advisory Commission.
The Commission will host at least four public forums to receive community input, and City residents can always share their thoughts with their City Council representative. While the dates of these meetings haven’t been scheduled yet, event details will be posted at www.navyhillrva.com/community when available, as well as the City’s website and calendar. We encourage you to get involved in the process and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Who is involved in designing and executing this project?
NHDC, a federally designated 501(c)(3) corporation, is guided by the NH Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by community leaders to respond to Mayor Stoney’s request for proposal. The NH Foundation board comprises doctors, lawyers, educators and business leaders. Each one of us is personally and professionally committed to Richmond, and we are passionate about making our City an even better place for our friends, families, colleagues, and neighbors to live and work. The Board consists of Thomas F. Farrell II, Melody Barnes, Martin J. Barrington, William H. Goodwin Jr., Dr. Monroe E. Harris Jr., C.T. Hill and Dr. Pamela J. Royal.
NHDC has engaged arena and district development experts Future Cities and Concord Eastridge. These firms together formed Capital City Partners to conceptualize, finance, design and manage the redevelopment project.
How much does the project cost, and how will it be paid for?
The Navy Hill redevelopment is a $1.5 billion project that will create more than $1 billion in incremental revenue for the City. Most importantly, there will be no tax increases on city residents to pay for the development. The City will use the future incremental tax revenue from the designated area to pay for the arena. While the City will issue bonds to raise funds for the arena, the City is under no “moral” or “general” obligation to cover the project costs—and taxpayers won’t pay a single cent in new taxes. The risk lies with the bond investors—not the City or the taxpayers. Private investors will pay for the private development, including new office space, a hotel and conference center, new retail, new restaurants and more.
Will my taxes go up?
No. The Navy Hill redevelopment creates new revenue for the City and for core services without increasing taxes.
What happens to the money that is generated once the bond investors are paid?
Tax revenue generated beyond the bond debt payments will go into the general fund to help pay for schools, public safety, housing and other City services.
How will this project affect school funding? How can we invest more in our schools?
The redevelopment is designed to create surplus revenue to pay for schools and other core services. Right now, the neighborhood has empty parking lots and garages, vacant commercial spaces, and no housing. The closed Coliseum creates no tax revenue for the City—and taxpayers have been paying as much as $1 million per year just to keep the Coliseum open. By putting this underutilized land to use, new revenue will be created that can be directed to schools and other core services.
Who will own the land in Navy Hill?
The City of Richmond currently owns the land. The City will continue to own the arena and Blues Armory, and will sell other parcels for private development. The sale of private parcels will help bring in needed revenue to help Richmond invest in our schools and City services.
Tell us what you think.
Your questions and comments will help shape this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring back Navy Hill.