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Richmond City Council Considering Sale of Public Safety Building

A rendering of the project
A rendering of what the development at 9th and Leigh Streets could look like under the proposal. (Courtesy of Capital City Partners)

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is expected to send a deal to redevelop the defunct Public Safety Building to City Council Monday night.

The development group Capital City Partners is offering roughly $3.5 million for the vacant building and parking lot. Capital City Partners, LLC are the same developers behind the failed Navy Hill deal Stoney proposed last year. Unlike that deal, the sale of the Public Safety Building would include no taxpayer money. 

Stoney announced Monday afternoon that he’d submit a development agreement and other legal documents to City Council at its meeting later tonight. A final vote on the deal isn’t expected for weeks.

“Redeveloping the old Public Safety Building will generate much-needed tax revenue for affordable housing, schools and our neighborhoods while creating opportunities for minority businesses,” Stoney said in a statement.

The Public Safety Building is bordered by 9th and Leigh Streets, right across from the VCU Health campus. The building currently houses offices for the city’s adult drug court and Department of Public Works, but city officials say it has more than $20 million in immediate, deferred maintenance needs.

If the deal is approved, Capital City Partners plans to build a $325 million mixed-use development on the property. It would be anchored by an office tower for VCU Health, as well as facilities for their non-profit partners The Doorways and Ronald McDonald House Charities. The developers are also promising retail space and a child care center. 

As part of their purchase, the developers are also offering numerous community benefits to the city in addition to cash. Under the agreement, Capital City Partners is responsible for demolishing the building and reconnecting East Clay Street. They’re also committing to a goal of awarding 40% of the construction contracts to minority-owned businesses and creating a college scholarship fund for Richmond Public Schools students. 

The development agreement will need to be approved by Richmond City Council.