For those missing the Richmond Coliseum, an arena-anchored mixed-use complex is in the works for Henrico County.

The GreenCity project just may give Richmonders a new concert and entertainment venue to replace the currently closed Richmond Coliseum. In an announcement made by Henrico County, there is a $2.3-billion arena-anchored development being planned for the 93-acre former Best Products site located northeast of the I-95 and Parham Road interchange.

Dubbed an “eco-district village,” the project includes 2 million-square-feet of retail space, 2,400 residential units (including affordable housing), two hotels, green space, and a 415,000-square-foot multi-purpose arena with 17,000 seats. The arena itself is a $250 million project and is comparable to the Navy Hill development project that would have replaced the Richmond Coliseum. That project was scrubbed by Richmond City Council amid much controversy earlier this year.

The whole area spans nearly 200 acres, including the 93 acres that Best Products sits on, which has been owned by Henrico County since 2011. The rest of the acreage is owned by Bill Goodwin’s Riverstone Properties.

Courtesy of Richmond BizSense

The GreenCity project is being undertaken by the same developers as the former Navy Hill project, including Michael Hallmark and Susan Eastridge. Hallmark is with Richmond-based Future Cities and Eastridge is president of northern Virginia-based development firm Concord Eastridge.

GreenCity plans to use sustainable development practices, including net-zero energy and water use, incorporating existing forests and wetlands into the community, and creating a park system with 1.5 miles of trails and streams.

Eastridge said, “In a post-COVID world, people eventually will come back together. But they will come back to a new normal, which must include better building design, smarter heating-ventilation-air-conditioning systems, more indoor-outdoor design, and more direct connections to nature.”

The project is financed in part through the creation of a community development authority (CDA). County manager John Vithoulkis said in a statement, “GreenCity will be a private development financed with private bonds."

Vithoulkis also added that the county has experience working with developers on large CDA-fueled projects such as Short Pump Town Center, Reynolds Crossing, and White Oak Village.

Developers expect to submit a rezoning proposal in early 2021 to have the property designated under the county’s urban mixed-use classification.

Dan Schmitt, vice-chairman of Henrico County Board of Supervisors, said, “This carries no financial risk to our taxpayers. This will not add to the county’s debt. However, it will provide us with jobs, investment and countless other benefits.”

The arena is planned to open in 2025 and GreenCity is expected to be complete in 2033.

What about you? Are you looking forward to a new Richmond Coliseum-type entertainment venue? What do you think it should be called? Let us know in the comments.