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Economic Development

Richmond EDA and the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority receive five (5) submissions in response to City Center request for interest

Evaluation Panel to evaluate all submissions from development teams; short list to be announced in the winter

The deadline for interested development teams to submit proposals in response to the Request for Interest (“RFI”) for Phase 1 of the City Center Innovation District Project (“City Center”) ended on December 20, 2022. The Economic Development Authority of the City of Richmond (“Richmond EDA”) and the Greater Richmond Convention Center Authority (“GRCCA”) received five (5) submissions from the following development teams (listed alphabetically):

  • Capstone Development, LLC
  • City Center Gateway Partners
  • Lincoln Property Company
  • Richmond Community Development Partners
  • Sterling Bilder, LLC

The City Center Evaluation Panel (“Evaluation Panel”) is now tasked with assessing each submitted proposal based on the evaluation criteria in the RFI document:

  • Development team qualifications – financial capability, years of experience, diversity of team, and more;
  • Experience with urban mixed-use projects – experience with urban mixed-use redevelopment projects and proven capacity to deliver project requirements;
  • Equitable development benefits – employment opportunities, affordable housing, sustainability, resiliency, and more; 
  • Project understanding – a solid understanding for accomplishing the city’s goals; and
  • Financing approach – having provided a financing approach that minimizes public investment.

At the conclusion of its assessment of the RFI proposals, the Evaluation Panel will invite development teams to respond to a Request for Offers (“RFO”) that will require more detailed information on the invited development teams’ proposed projects.  The names of the development teams invited to respond to the RFO will be released to the public in winter 2023.  The RFO will also be posted at that time and made available to the public at

“We are thrilled to see the high level of enthusiasm and interest from development teams for the City Center Innovation District Project”, said Leonard Sledge, Executive Director of the Richmond EDA.  “Richmond has great momentum.  The formal interest we received today continues to demonstrate the positive trajectory of the City.”

“We are confident that amongst the number of outstanding development teams interested in this project, we have the right partner to bring this project to fruition”, said Brandon Hinton, Chair of the GRCCA Finance Committee.  “On behalf of the entire Richmond region, I could not be more excited for what the future brings for the Greater Richmond Convention Center with the addition of a long-sought headquarter hotel.”

About the City Center Project 
On November 3, 2022, the Richmond EDA and the GRCCA invited development teams to submit information to be considered for Phase 1 of the City Center Innovation District Project (“City Center”). The vision for City Center is to redevelop the area to become a mixed-use, mixed-income urban innovation district destination anchored by a headquarter hotel supporting the Greater Richmond Convention Center along with commercial, educational, and residential development to create a dynamic downtown.

Communication with the Evaluation Panel
Members of the public can send comments/questions electronically to the City Center Evaluation Panel by using this form. The form is publicly posted on the City Center Project webpage. Do not email the Evaluation Panel Members, Staff, or Advisors about the City Center Project (emails sent directly to the Evaluation Panel about this project will not be read). Comments/questions will be reviewed periodically and distributed to the Evaluation Panel during the evaluation process.

Evaluation Panel Members

  • Nupa Agarwal – Richmond EDA Board Vice Chair
  • Melvin D. Carter – City of Richmond Chief of Fire and Emergency Services
  • Sharon L. Ebert – City of Richmond Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Planning and Economic Development 
  • Pat Foster – City of Richmond Director of the Office of Minority Business Development 
  • Brandon Hinton – GRCCA Finance Committee Chair
  • Nathan Hughes – Richmond EDA Board Treasurer 
  • Lynne Lancaster – City of Richmond Deputy Director of Public Works Deputy Director 
  • J.E. Lincoln Saunders – City of Richmond Chief Administrative Officer and GRCCA Board Member
  • Leonard L. Sledge – Richmond EDA Executive Director and City of Richmond Director of Economic Development 
  • Sheila D. White – City of Richmond Director of Finance 

Additional Advisors may be added as the evaluation process progresses.

  • Maritza Mercado Pechin – City of Richmond Deputy Director of Planning and Development Review 
  • Matthew A. Welch – City of Richmond Policy Advisor to the Planning and Economic Development Portfolio

About the Richmond EDA
The Richmond EDA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is comprised of a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the City Council of the City of Richmond.  The Richmond EDA undertakes commercial activities as authorized by Chapter 49 of Title 15.2 of the Code of Virginia.  On behalf of the City of Richmond the Richmond EDA works in partnership with City Council, City administration, and state officials to achieve economic growth in the city. 

GRCCA is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia that was created by the local governments in the City of Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico Counties and was established to acquire, finance, expand, renovate, lease, operate, and maintain the Greater Richmond Convention Center.  GRCCA is governed by a five-member commission made up of the Chief Administrative Officer of each of the four incorporating political subdivisions and the President of InUnison, a regional business association.  Debt service costs and other operating and capital cost obligations for the Greater Richmond Convention Center are funded by an 8% transient lodging tax levied on hotel room rentals in the four participating localities.