Mayor Stoney lays out priorities for Navy Hill project
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Mayor Levar Stoney said Friday that plans will be submitted to City Council in the coming weeks that will dedicate surplus revenues from the Navy Hill Development project to projects throughout the city.
He says the project will bring in an additional $1.2 billion over 30 years that will be divided up to education, housing and the arts.
"By dedicating significant portions of the surplus revenues this project will create to our top priorities of education, housing opportunities and arts and culture, we are following through on my commitment that this project will truly be the greatest economic empowerment project in our city’s history,” said Stoney.
Earlier this month, Stoney announced a $1.4 billion proposal that includes a new coliseum and affordable housing in downtown Richmond. He also says the project will bring thousands of jobs to the city.
“I believe the 21,000 jobs, nearly 700 units of affordable housing and the more than $300 million in opportunities for minority business the Navy Hill project will create already provides tremendous economic opportunities for our residents,” the mayor said. “But I’m just as excited about its potential to generate significant revenues we can use to build a world-class educational system, to improve housing opportunities for all our residents and to invest in art and cultural projects that tell our full and complete history. This type of project will truly enable us to build ‘One Richmond.'”
Richmond Public Schools Superintendent Jason Kamras says the plan will help the city rebuild “at least another half dozen schools.”
“That means thousands of children will have a beautiful, modern building to walk into every morning,” he said. "Of course, this doesn’t solve our facility challenges, nor does it address our immediate need for more instructional dollars. But it’s a significant step in the right direction.”
The mayor’s office says a third-party analysis shows that this project over 30 years will create $600 million for schools, $180 million for housing needs, $12 million for public projects for the arts and historic assets in the city, and $400 million for the city to invest in neighborhoods through roads and infrastructure improvements, as well as police, fire and other city services.
On Thursday, RVA Financial announced its support for Navy Hill.
In a press release, RVA Financial said it “could not ignore the economic impact that a project of this scale would have on the community.”
Citing the proposed replacement for Richmond Coliseum, RVA Financial said the project “ensures Richmond remains an entertainment destination.”
While the plan requires City Council approval, several members have already voiced their support for the plan.
"While I will fully vet the Navy Hill proposal with the community and council, I would strongly support the mayor’s proposed allocation of the largest portion of the anticipated revenues to be generated by the project to go to our public schools, followed by housing and core services,” said Council Vice-President Cynthia Newbille.
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