We’ve now got more information but certainly not all the information on the plan.
Bits and pieces of the Shockoe Economic Plan are being slowly released by the city. Last night there were a few major chunks of news.
The city is claiming that due to tax issues a large portion of the property will be leased instead of purchased. By leasing the property the Mayor’s office would also need one less vote to move forward. According to most accounts he does have the votes to carry a lease but not a purchase.
Also reveled is that one of the properties required is owned by the The Rebkee Co. which was the firm behind the recently proposed and then just as quickly cast aside alternative for a new stadium on Boulevard.
Yesterday word also came down that the Virginia Democratic headquarters would need to be purchased. Mayor Jone was recently appointed the head of the Democratic party. Party officials were quick to come saying that a firewall has been established and the Mayor would have nothing to do with the possible sale of the property.
Finally there was the matter of the stadium moving but only a matter of feet not miles.From RTD.
The shift seems to have been motivated in part by a desire to avoid triggering a federal review of historic resources. A half block off Ambler Street that had been mapped for apartments will now be used as a parking lot that could serve both the Richmond Flying Squirrels stadium and the proposed slave heritage site at Lumpkin’s Jail.
That lot was purchased using grant money provided by the Federal Transit Administration, according to city officials, and developing it for purposes other than parking would have triggered a Section 106 review as outlined in the National Historic Preservation Act.
“This became a problem because if they use this land, it triggers the 106,” Chief Administrative Officer Byron C. Marshall said in an interview after presenting the updated plan to the council’s Finance and Economic Development Committee.
Image: City of Richmond via RTD