GRTC sells old headquarters to RRHA

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond leaders will now decide what happens to a prime piece of real estate in the Fan. GRTC has sold its old headquarters on Cary Street to the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority. The RRHA bought the land, but it's really acting as a sort of holding company.

The agency and city leaders will now ask the community for input to help decide what should be built on the land. For longer than they would have liked, GRTC leaders called it home.

"We've been here over a hundred years in some form or another. And this is the greatest asset that we have from a wealth standpoint," said John Lewis, GRTC President and CEO.

The GRTC's greatest asset just sold for 5.4 million dollars. It's a deal the mayor's office is calling a victory for the city. Mayor Dwight Jones pushed for the property to go to the RRHA.

"For them to acquire the site and work with the community to develop what is the best and highest use of this in the future," said Lewis.

The RRHA will hold the site until ideas are generated and plans are sought from developers. This is very much like what the city did with the Miller and Rhodes property several years ago. It was eventually sold to a developer and turned into a hotel.

City leaders expressed great concern over what will be built on the site just two weeks ago, as the GRTC unveiled its new corporate headquarters on Belt Boulevard.

"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.

"It's a 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 Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones.

As for the GRTC? It stands to gain more money if the property sells to a developer at a higher price.

"A dream opportunity for us here at GRTC particularly in these tough economic times," said Lewis.

The sale still needs approval from the federal transportation administration, and the GRTC must spend about a million dollars and several months cleaning up the sight and the fuel tanks before the property is turned over to the city.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.