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Richmond Mayor Hosts Town Halls On Coliseum Redevelopment Plans

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney addressed a crowd
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney addresses a crowd of residents about the proposed Navy Hill project at Carver Elementary School Thursday night. (Photo: Roberto Roldan/VPM)

Mayor Levar Stoney is hosting town halls on the proposed redevelopment of the Richmond Coliseum.

Last night Stoney held a meeting at Carver Elementary School, which was the first in a series of community dialogues. The town hall began with a presentation by city officials, breaking down the $1.5 billion deal that includes a $300 million public loan for a new downtown arena and more than a billion in private development in the surrounding neighborhood. 

Stoney encouraged the audience of about 100 people to engage critically with city officials. 

“Ask the tough questions, because we think this project stands on its own merits,” Stoney said.

Residents did just that. They peppered Stoney with questions like why the arena even needs to be replaced, and whether the affordable housing will truly be affordable for working people. 

Jerome Legions, who heads the Carver Civic Association, asked Stoney to help nearby schools to prepare for potential new residents. 

“Carver Elementary School more than likely will be the elementary school for people who are going to move into Navy Hill,” Legions said. “Who can I talk to about getting maybe a $4 million investment, as good faith to renovate Carver Elementary.”

Embarking on an expensive economic development project while many Richmond schools struggle was a repeated concern of residents. But Stoney emphasized that without economic development, the city has few ways to generate new money for schools.

Stoney is expected to hold three more town halls in the Coliseum redevelopment plans in the coming weeks. Here is the full schedule:

Sunday, November 17
4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
Peter Paul Development Center
1708 N. 22nd St.

Monday, November 18
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hickory Hill Community Center
3000 E. Belt Blvd.

Tuesday, November 26
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Albert Hill Middle School
3400 Patterson Ave.

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