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Richmond announces five groups bidding on City Center redevelopment

A building with a glass atrium and a castle-like structure
The City Center redevelopment plan includes an adaptive reuse project for the Blues Armory. Built by the National Guard in 1910, the building most recently was used as part of the 6th Street Marketplace, which lasted about two decades. (File photos: Scott Elmquist/VPM News)

Five development teams submitted proposals to redevelop 9 acres near downtown Richmond.

Currently, the land houses the Richmond Coliseum and the 6th Street Marketplace, including the 1910-built Blues Armory. The structures are currently vacant.

Leonard Sledge, director of Richmond's Department of Economic Development, told VPM News that this project "presents a tremendous opportunity" to add mixed-income and mixed-used residential developments in the neighborhood, building on its existing community partners.

"City Center represents a large area of underdeveloped and underutilized property in the core of downtown," he said.

Development teams that submitted proposals were Capstone Development, LLC; City Center Gateway Partners; Lincoln Property Company; Sterling Bilder, LLC; and Richmond Community Development Partners — which previously submitted an unsuccessful bid to redevelop Richmond’s Diamond District.

A press release from the city included few details on the submitted proposals, but the vision outlined by officials includes hotels, affordable housing and green space.

Proposals will be evaluated on each team's general qualifications to complete the project, diversity of its staff and experience in "urban mixed-use projects," among others. A team including Economic Development Authority members, members of the GRCCA and city officials will evaluate the proposals.

Currently, the land is owned by Richmond’s EDA.

The deadline to submit responses to the request for interest in the City Center Innovation District Project was Tuesday. Finalists are expected to be announced during winter 2023, according to the city, which then hopes to select a team in the spring or summer.

VPM News is the staff byline for articles and podcasts written and produced by multiple reporters and editors.