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Richmond Approves Diamond District, Casino Backers Not Thrilled

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Posted on: Could 9, 2023, 09:34h. 

Final up to date on: Could 9, 2023, 12:51h.

The Richmond, Va. Metropolis Council on Monday night permitted a $2.4 billion spending plan to rework the Northwest a part of town.

Richmond Diamond District casino Urban One
A rendering of the Diamond District in Richmond, a $2.4 billion spending plan that may end in a brand new ballpark for town’s Flying Squirrels Minor League Baseball group. The funding challenge will moreover embrace 1000’s of mixed-income housing items that shall be offered and leased. (Picture: RVA Diamond Companions, LLC)

Dubbed the “Diamond District,” the $2.4 billion funding will end in a brand new ballpark for town’s Flying Squirrels Double-A minor league baseball group, mixed-income housing, and inexperienced area.

The Diamond District will substitute The Diamond, the Flying Squirrels’ present ballpark, and occupy different vacant lands within the neighborhood. The financial growth zone will span 67 acres in complete.

Minor League Baseball officers mentioned The Diamond, which opened in 1985, wanted quite a few enhancements and structural upgrades to fulfill its working requirements. MiLB gave town a deadline this yr to determine how you can transfer ahead, or threat dropping the group.

The Flying Squirrels are the longest-running energetic minor league affiliate of the Main League Baseball San Francisco Giants. The Flying Squirrels had been beforehand the Connecticut Defenders till relocating to Virginia for the 2010 season.

On line casino Narrowly Rejected

Richmond was certainly one of 5 cities in Virginia that certified to host a business on line casino by state laws handed in 2020. The gaming invoice required that metropolis voters approve of a proposed on line casino by a poll referendum earlier than metropolis officers may transfer ahead with such an enterprise.

The Richmond Metropolis Council held a aggressive bidding course of and selected a $600 million on line casino blueprint pitched by Black-focused media conglomerate City One at the side of on line casino operator Peninsula Pacific Leisure. The challenge, referred to as One On line casino + Resort, was narrowly defeated by a 51-49% vote.

One On line casino + Resort was focusing on vacant land close to Philip Morris alongside I-95 southeast of town. The November 2021 on line casino referendum vote was largely break up amongst extra prosperous, white neighborhoods north of the James River who opposed the playing query, whereas residents in poorer, extra numerous areas within the southside backed the gaming measure.

Although the Richmond Metropolis Council and Mayor Levar Stoney (D) are hoping to reask voters about One On line casino + Resort this November, the council’s choice to maneuver ahead with a $2.4 billion challenge in one of many wealthiest areas of town brought on some pushback.

On line casino Proponent Voices Concern

Councilwoman Reva Trammell (D-Eighth District) has been one of many strongest supporters of bringing a on line casino resort to Richmond. Trammell hopes Richmond asks metropolis residents once more in regards to the One On line casino initiative, and a unique consequence is realized this November.

Trammell mentioned throughout metropolis council discussions in regards to the Diamond District that it pains her to see progress being made for a multibillion-dollar growth in a wealthier a part of city whereas issues keep the identical south of town. She mentioned lots of the constituents she represents within the Eighth District, which encompasses the Southside, oppose financial developments funded by town till a challenge is permitted for his or her neighborhood.

After elevating her issues earlier than the council, Trammell voted in favor of the Diamond District.

I’m not going to be egocentric,” Trammell mentioned. “It’s good for town.”

Town isn’t funding your complete challenge and even the majority of it. As a substitute, a gaggle of traders working underneath the entity RVA Diamond Companions LLC will construct the residential parts. Town will foot the invoice for the stadium by issuing bonds.

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