A state agency’s hunt for nearly half a million square feet of real estate drew in plenty of interest over the last two months.
Fifteen responses were submitted for a request for proposals issued in June for a new facility for the Virginia ABC, which is seeking 375,000 square feet of distribution space and 80,000 to 95,000 square feet of office space to potentially replace its 20-acre nerve center at 2901 Hermitage Road near The Diamond.
The deadline for submissions was Aug. 11. Dena Potter, spokeswoman for the state Department of General Services, which handles real estate needs, said the state could not disclose details of the proposals.
The state sought ideas for both new construction on sites in the Richmond metro region and plans to potentially renovate and expand ABC’s existing 292,000-square-foot facility.
Potter said DGS and the ABC will submit the best proposal to the General Assembly on Nov. 1 for possible funding by state legislators.
State leaders set aside $500,000 in the 2017 budget to start the initial research.
The decisions will determine the fate of the ABC’s site near the Diamond – and potentially the future of baseball in the city. The agency’s Hermitage Road site has been reported as a likely site for a new Squirrels stadium, which would free up The Diamond to join surrounding parcels for a total of 60 city-owned acres bounded by North Boulevard and Hermitage Road. The city already has teased developers with what it would like to see on the site.
That was followed by the announcement of a joint agreement between the Richmond Flying Squirrels, VCU and the city to “guide the final stages of planning for a new ballpark in Richmond to be used by VCU and the Flying Squirrels.”