Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

BizSense Beat: May 12, 2023

Richmond BizSense logo

BizSense Beat is a weekly collaboration between VPM News and Richmond BizSense that brings you the top business stories during NPR's Morning Edition on Fridays.

Here’s a recap of the top stories for the week of May 12, 2023:

VCU Health, after FOIA request, reveals it paid $73M to back out of unbuilt downtown development
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

VCU Health System’s about-face on a downtown development project that relied on its lease as the master tenant cost the health system nearly $73 million, its leadership said Friday.

In response to Freedom of Information Act requests from Richmond BizSense since the project effectively died in February, VCU Health supplied a statement Friday afternoon confirming that it made a onetime payment of $72.9 million to back out of its 25-year lease agreement for the project, a $325 million redevelopment of the old Public Safety Building site at 500 N. 10th St.

‘It’s not their money’: Wilder calls for Rao’s dismissal, state investigation after $73M VCU Health development payout
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

Former governor Doug Wilder called for the firing of VCU President Michael Rao and a state investigation in light of a $73 million payment VCU Health System quietly made in February to back out of a downtown development project.

In a press conference Tuesday at the State Capitol, Wilder called on the Joint Legislative Audit & Review Commission (JLARC) to to investigate the payment that was made to allow VCU Health to buy its way out of its lease as the master tenant for a $325 million development that would have replaced the city’s Public Safety Building at 500 N. 10th St.

With expanded TIF district, final Diamond District Deal goes to City Council
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

Final terms for what’s being touted as the biggest economic development project in Richmond’s history were approved this week.

Two weeks after the definitive agreements for the $2.4 billion Diamond District project were announced and introduced, the council approved the initial land transfer and development agreement with RVA Diamond Partners for the mixed-use project that includes a new stadium to replace The Diamond.

You can find these and other local business stories at