What you need to know about the City Center Innovation District Request for Interest

The city is looking for a development team to reinvigorate the downtown area.

A sunset shot of City Center over Leigh Street with the Coliseum in the foreground.

Coliseum demolition is near the top of the list for the City Center Innovation District.

Photo by @cwclarke_photos on Instagram

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The city is moving forward with the redevelopment of City Center. Last week, the Economic Development Authority and the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority released a Request for Interest, inviting development teams to be considered for the first phase.

Here’s a breakdown of the project based on the RFI.


A small area plan for City Center was adopted in January. Since then, the area has been designated an Innovation Zoning District. City Council has made moves to prepare the site, including transferring the soon-to-be-demolished Coliseum property to the EDA.

First steps

Phase 1 consists of a 9.4 acre parcel between 5th and 7th and Leigh and Marshall Streets. The EDA and GRCCA want it redeveloped into a mixed-use area anchored by a hotel to support the Convention Center.

A map with markings highlighting city-owned parcels on a blue background.

Phase 1 asks development teams to reimagine this 9.4 acre parcel.

Screenshot via city documents

The goal

The evaluation criteria section of the RFI provides some insight into the city’s wishes for the project. The EDA and GRCCA want a team with experience in urban redevelopment. The team has to have the capability to demolish the Coliseum and adaptively reuse the Blues Armory.

In addition, it seems the panel is looking for teams that include affordable rental and for-sale housing units, new employment opportunities, open green space, and sustainability features in their plans.

The RFI also specifies that financing should minimize public investment and risk.

What’s next

Prospective development teams will have until Tuesday, Dec. 20 to submit responses. Select development teams will then be invited to respond to a Request for Offers. The city wants to announce the selected team in the spring or summer.

Expect more opportunities for public engagement as the project continues.