Five months after it was pitched to the city, a $350 million development proposal that would salvage part of the failed Navy Hill plan remains in play.
In a specially-called meeting last week, the City Council met in closed session with city administrators to discuss the disposition of the Public Safety Building property at 500 N. 10th St., where Capital City Partners has proposed a 20-story tower and mixed-use office complex.
CCP, the development team that was enlisted for Navy Hill, offered in May to buy the city-owned property and redevelop it, with VCU Health signed on to anchor the tower.
No action was taken after the closed session, but the discussion indicates that CCP’s offer remains on the table and on the city’s list of priorities.
Administration spokesman Jim Nolan said the city’s economic development staff remains in communication with CCP.
“We are keeping council apprised of our progress in meeting their desired business terms, and where we are with the developer,” Nolan said in an email. “Our discussions with the developer have been productive.”
Economic development officials had said in June that they wanted the council’s permission to start negotiations with CCP. A formal authorization has yet to be made, as the majority of the council that voted down Navy Hill in February said they first wanted certain steps taken before any offer could be considered through a request-for-proposals process.
Those steps include public outreach and development of a plan specific to the Coliseum area. They also requested appraisals of city-owned property that would be offered through an RFP, including the Public Safety Building site.
The council was told in June those appraisals were completed, and administrators pointed to surveys and other outreach tied to the Richmond 300 master plan update as contributing toward the council’s request.
Those efforts included two virtually-held public meetings specific to the development of a so-called Coliseum Framework Plan, which city planners and consultants intend to wrap up now that the Richmond 300 document has been finalized and submitted to the city.
The council is scheduled to introduce and refer the document to a committee Nov. 9, with a potential vote to adopt it slated for Dec. 14.
Maritza Pechin, a planner with consulting firm AECOM who is serving as Richmond 300’s project manager, said the group is resuming its work on the Coliseum-area plan, with a third public meeting to be held sometime next month.
“We have been focusing our efforts on getting Richmond 300 through the legislative process,” Pechin said in an email in late September. “For the Coliseum Framework Plan, we are planning to conduct some stakeholder interviews in October and will host another round of public meetings in November.”
Earlier this year, the city declared the Public Safety Building as surplus property — a move required by city code before the council can issue an RFP or consider unsolicited offers. The building initially was included among other city-owned properties that administrators proposed declaring surplus as a group, but the proposal was amended so the building could be declared surplus individually.