Richmond’s mayor announced plans Thursday for a $1.4 billion dollar downtown redevelopment project. If approved by City Council it would include a new arena, retail space, and affordable housing.
The development package affects the area north of Broad St in downtown Richmond.
The project would be managed, and mostly funded by a nonprofit -- led by Dominion Energy CEO Tom Farrell.
The city would own the arena and is earmarking $220 million in future tax dollars to pay for it.
“If approved by the city council this will easily be the largest economic development project in the history of our city,” said Mayor Levar Stoney during an announcement event Thursday.
Stoney says the project will create thousands of new jobs, with a commitment to hiring minority business owners. Hundreds of affordable housing units, a bus transit center, and a new hotel with event space are all included in the plan.
“This asset will allow us to compete not just with Charlottesville and with Norfolk, but with the Charlottes and Nashvilles,” said the Mayor.
Critics of the plan say the administration’s focus on economic development distracts from what they deem to be higher priorities, namely public education.