Three days after the City Council vote that appeared to kill the massive arena-anchored economic development deal, Stoney sat down with Richmond BizSense to reflect on what went wrong – and what might happen next.
“While we are disappointed that five City Council members rejected the project, we are proud of the proposal that we delivered,” the developers said in a statement Monday evening.
Both localities are considering an 8 percent transient occupancy tax on certain Airbnb-style rentals.
As more details emerge about parts of the plan – including buildings earmarked for VCU Health – a majority of Richmond City Council members maintained their opposition to the proposed Navy Hill development this week, despite a largely supportive report from a third-party consultant that council had hired to assess the project.
A recent shortage of inspectors and an ongoing plan-review backlog – as well as the prospect of the proposed Navy Hill project – has prompted City Hall to begin rolling out a policy allowing third-party building inspections and reviews on a limited basis.
The same day project backers rolled out their latest endorsement with the promised return of minor-league hockey to Richmond, a majority of City Council called for Mayor Levar Stoney to withdraw his hotly debated Navy Hill plan, just weeks before an anticipated vote on the $1.5 billion development proposal.
A proposed bill in the General Assembly that would allow a portion of state tax revenues to go toward the proposed Navy Hill project would significantly reduce the amount of downtown real estate needed to pay off bonds for a new arena, according to the developer.
A longtime player in the City of Richmond’s economic development department is moving on.
Following weeks of work sessions, months of town hall meetings and hearings, and years of talk surrounding the project, Richmond City Council members can now see a light at the end of the Navy Hill tunnel.
Having tweaked their proposal following months of public feedback, city planners are moving forward with a revised set of rules that would allow, and regulate, short-term residential rentals in Richmond.