A $9.12 million bid has landed a team of seasoned Richmond developers at the head of the pack to purchase and redevelop the Greater Richmond Transit Co.’s bus depot property at 101 S. Davis Ave.
The cash offer from DKJ Richmond LLC, a joint venture between Chris Johnson and Tom Dickey of Monument Cos., and Howard Kellman of The Edison Co., has been chosen as the top proposal in the RFP process started for the coveted 7-acre site in May, a GRTC document shows.
GRTC determined the group to be the frontrunner out of 12 bids, mostly submitted by big names in the local development scene.
“After individual evaluations were conducted, interviews were held with two offerors determined to be within a competitive range,” the document states. “It was then determined that DKJ Richmond, LLC was the highest ranked proposer.”
A discussion of the deal is on the agenda for the next GRTC board meeting, set for Wednesday, where the board plans to authorize GRTC’s CEO to execute the agreement with DKJ. It anticipates a closing in mid-November.
Reached by email Sunday afternoon, Chris Johnson said the group couldn’t comment until the purchase contract was officially awarded.
Bidders were not required to state their intentions for the property, but the GRTC document shows that prior to closing, DKJ will conduct at least two public meetings to “share their redevelopment plan and solicit feedback from the community on the project.”
The group will follow a notification process similar to that used for zoning matters with the city.
DKJ Richmond lists the E. Cary Street headquarters of Monument Cos. as its principal address and Johnson as its registered agent. Its members have a track record of developments all over Richmond, including another joint redevelopment of the former Signet Bank complex downtown at Eighth and Main streets.
Other local bidders included Louis Salomonsky’s Historic Housing, Blackwood Development Co., Charles Macfarlane’s CK-Klein Macfarlane LP, Steve Middleton’s Commonwealth Properties, and The Wilton Cos.
GRTC said it weighed the value of the deal and the ease of closure as the two factors in its evaluation of the offers, with 70 percent of the weight going toward the value.
The site, often referred to as the bus barn, sits just south of the Fan District and east of Carytown and is bounded by Cary Street, Grayland Avenue, Stafford Avenue and Robinson Street.
A sale would free up the 112-year-old property and its nine buildings that total 112,000 square feet after years in limbo due to an environmental cleanup process to remove bus-related chemicals from the grounds. That process is expected to be completed in November, in time to close the sale. The deal will contain contingencies to continue the process if it’s not finished by closing.
The bus depot is made up of two parcels and was most recently assessed by the city at a total of $4.18 million. The GRTC had the property recently appraised with a resulting value of $7 million.
GRTC, a nonprofit owned by the city of Richmond and Chesterfield County, has owned the site since 1973 and used it until 2010, when bus maintenance and operations were moved to the Southside. The site had been in use for public transit since 1903.
BizSense reporter Michael Thompson contributed to this report.