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Richmond cuts Diamond District finalists to two

The Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center in Richmond
The Arthur Ashe Jr. Athletic Center in Richmond is in the area set to be redeveloped as part of a project the replace The Diamond by 2025. (File photo: Crixell Matthews/VPM News)

The city of Richmond has eliminated one of the three finalists it selected for its proposal to redevelop The Diamond baseball stadium and the surrounding area.

An FAQ published online Friday said the city plans to select a development group “by the end of the summer.”

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Vision300 Partners — led by Richmond-based Hourigan Group and Boston-based Freehold Capital Management — is no longer being considered for the project to redevelop 67 acres of publicly owned land east of Scott’s Addition.

The goal of the project, according to the city’s request for interest, is to create a mixed-use, mixed-income community anchored by a new baseball stadium. In order to meet MLB-set standards for minor league baseball stadiums, Richmond must replace The Diamond, built in 1985, by 2025.

City officials have yet to say how much the new stadium will cost, but it plans to use tax revenue generated by the new development to pay for it. A feasibility study conducted for the city by AECOM estimated that recent minor league ballparks cost $72 million to build on average.

In Knoxville, Tennessee, a downtown stadium project was projected to cost $75 million, but inflation drove that cost up to about $91 million by 2021, including just under $75 million in public money. That project is tied up as the recent rise in interest rates increased costs further.