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BizSense Beat: Sept. 8, 2023

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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 Sept. 8, 2023:

City Center contenders push Coliseum area to new heights
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

As development proposals continue to be weighed for Richmond’s City Center project that would replace the Coliseum, teams vying to lead the mixed-use redevelopment are aiming high with their visions for a required convention center hotel.

At least two of the four groupscontending for the project are proposing hotel towers that, if built as envisioned, could end up being the tallest building in Richmond – depending on how you measure it.

City Center Gateway Partners, led locally by Capital Square and Shamin Hotels, is pitching a 30-story hotel in its proposal, which was among those that the city released in summary form in May after issuing a joint solicitation for the project last fall with the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority.

Media firm halfway through Shockoe Slip HQ rehab
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Jonathan Spiers

After buying its Shockoe Slip homebase at the outset of the pandemic, a local video production company is in the midst of rehabbing the 150-year-old property with today’s hybrid work environment in mind.

Tilt Creative + Production is about halfway through a yearlong renovation of its headquarters complex at 23 S. 13th St.

The roughly $3 million project is revealing and restoring more of the multi-building complex’s original features and opening up and updating its interior workspaces. Plans also include a new rooftop deck and a penthouse area overlooking the street.

Louis Salomonsky, prolific and controversial local developer, dead at 84
Reported by Richmond Bizsense’s Michael Schwartz

Louis Salomonsky, a titan of the Richmond real estate development scene, died Thursday morning at age 84 after a battle with cancer.

Starting out as an architect, the native Richmonder and UVA alum became a prolific, trailblazing developer. He and his business partner David White were some of the first in the region to see the promise of using historic tax credits to rehab the city’s old buildings into new uses.

With White and their firm Historic Housing LLC and sister companies SWA Architects, SWA Construction and Main Street Realty, Salomonsky developed hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of projects and thousands of apartments across Richmond and elsewhere, most prominently in and around Scott’s Addition, Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom, where the companies are based.

Salomonsky also was a controversial figure, known for his high-profile legal troubles in the early 2000s, when he pleaded guilty to federal charges and served two years in prison in a bribery scandal involving former City Councilwoman Gwen Hedgepeth.

Since his release from prison in 2005, his work in the region has been constant, with projects in planning and under construction even up to his death this week.

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