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Design & Development

Baseball stadium to anchor $2.4bn project in Richmond

Concept images: City of Richmond

The City of Richmond has selected the RVA Diamond Partners consortium as its development partner for a new baseball stadium and mixed-use project.

The capital city of Virginia has concluded a competitive selection process that began with 15 submissions from around the US last February to redevelop the Diamond District. The City said RVA Diamond Partners was selected as the development partner because their vision aligned with city goals.

Expected to cost $2.4bn (£2.08bn/€2.4bn), the scheme will commence with the design phase of a ballpark, with a commitment to purchase the first $20m of bonds to finance the new stadium. The 8,000-seat venue will be the new home of Minor League Baseball team Richmond Flying Squirrels, an affiliate of Major League Baseball (MLB) outfit the San Francisco Giants.

The Flying Squirrels currently play at The Diamond, which opened in 1985 and is now not in-line with standards required by MLB. The whole project is expected to take a decade to complete, but will start with the delivery of the new stadium by the spring of 2025.

Along with the stadium, the vision for the Diamond District includes homes, apartments, restaurants, retail stores, a hotel and a signature crescent-shaped park across 67 acres of public land.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday (Tuesday), Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said: “There is nothing minor league about any of this. This is a major league investment for the people of Richmond.”

He added in a statement: “This proposal meets our goals to equitably revitalise an underdeveloped part of our city and maximise its potential to enhance the quality of life for all Richmonders.

“Commitments to affordable housing, minority business engagement, publicly accessible open space and a new ballpark mean that the Diamond District will be enjoyed by, built by, and benefit all residents of our city. The Diamond District has long been a diamond in the rough. I look forward to seeing it shine.”

RVA Diamond Partners is led by Thalhimer Realty Partners, Republic Properties Corp. and Loop Capital. The resolution to select RVA will follow Council’s typical review process and may be voted on at the City Council meeting on September 26.

Once the resolution is approved, the City and RVA Diamond Partners will use the term sheet as the basis for developing the definitive written agreements, which will be brought back to Council for final approval later this year.

Lou DiBella, president of the Richmond Flying Squirrels, said: “The Richmond Flying Squirrels are proud to be an anchor tenant of this proposed revitalisation and development of the Diamond District, a natural extension of the growth of our beloved hometown.

“The Squirrels will be the most well-known neighbours in a new, diverse, and dynamic neighbourhood. We commit to being a great neighbour and to making memories together for decades to come.”