RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Monday, Mayor Dwight Jones pitches his idea to fuel growth in the city at a press release. The announcement will be about an exciting economic development plan that will help generate jobs and opportunity.
The conference will also reveal details on the mayor’s pitch to build a new ballpark and stadium in Shockoe Bottom.
Richmond Flying Squirrels owner, Lou Dibella tells CBS 6, it will be a home run for the team.
“I’m thrilled with the progress that’s been made,” Dibella said. “I’m truly excited about this announcement.”
The multi-million dollar deal proposes a new ballpark on the border of Broad, 18th, and East Franklin Streets near Main Street Station. A major retailer has already committed to the project, and is including a grocery store, apartments and a 120-room hotel. Mayor Jones plans on also building a Slave History Heritage Center.
4th District City Councilwoman Kathy Graziano has been briefed on the plan and says there are several details that have yet to be sorted out, including parking.
As Chair of Council’s Finance Committee, Graziano has expressed concern over how to cover the cost of the proposed $15 million improvements to the city’s drainage system downtown.
The Mayor hopes to eventually transform the entire space on the Boulevard into a shopping district that could generate millions in revenue. The Jones administration has made a priority of economic development and expanding the city’s tax base to mitigate the city’s documented poverty rate of 26%.
“The ballpark is a great amenity for the entire region,” Graziano said. “But it doesn’t bring revenue to the city, and we need revenue.”
According to a press release from the mayor’s press secretary, Tammy Hawley, Mayor Jones will discuss plans for downtown economic development on Monday, at 11a.m. at the intersection of 17th and Grace Streets.