RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond's transportation hub is on the move. The GRTC is about to trade its Cary Street headquarters for a new 38 million dollar building on Belt Boulevard in Richmond's Southside. This comes as a debate heats up over what to do with the old property.
The GRTC's new corporate headquarter is double the size of its old facility. It's state of the art and designed to save the agency a quarter of a million dollars a year in utilities.
From ceiling lights that adjust on their own, to temperatures controlled by the number of people in the room; the GRTC's new corporate headquarters is being called efficient and environmentally friendly.
"As a publicly funded agency, being able to save every penny is key to our survival," said John Lewis, GRTC CEO.
The new building will save $200,000 just on utilities. It will recycle the water used to wash the buses.
The building also houses a body shop so the city no longer has to contract out that type of work. A much different scenario from the 6 acres the agency's been crammed on to for more than one hundred years.
"That site has seen perhaps every method, mode of transportation known to man," said Lewis.
And now the old site is a key piece of real estate in the Fan district.
"It's 6.8 acres in one of the most desirable sections of the city, and so certainly we have an interest in making sure that it's developed to the highest and best use," said Mayor Dwight Jones.
The land is owned by GRTC and its board will have the final say. It's worth five and a half million dollars and it's clear everyone has high hopes for the site.
"I'd like to see mixed use. Mixed use housing and retail, sort of an extension down from Carytown," said Kathy Graziano, Richmond City Council President.
"We, of course our board, is looking to maximize our return on that investment so that we can then put that funding into the operations of our system," said Lewis.
It will take 6 months to clean up the old site. Employees begin moving to the new location on December 18 but buses won't operate from this site until the end of January.