City News

City invites six Diamond District respondents to respond to a Request for Additional Information

The City of Richmond is officially inviting 6 development teams to submit responses to Request for Additional Information (RFAI).

On February 15, 2022, the city received 15 submissions from development teams in response to the Diamond District Request for Interest (RFI) issued on December 28, 2021.

“The city is extremely pleased with the amount of interest in redeveloping this over 67-acre site,” said Deputy Director for Equitable Development Maritza Mercado Pechin. “Considering the area’s potential, this enthusiasm comes as no surprise. As we continue this careful and competitive process, we’re more optimistic than ever that the Diamond District will go far in supporting our growing city.”

The Diamond District Evaluation Panel reviewed the 15 submissions against the evaluation criteria listed in RFI. Based on the evaluation, six development teams have been invited to continue in the competitive process and respond to the RFAI (listed alphabetically):

  • Diamond District Gateway Partners
  • MAG Partners
  • Richmond Community Development Partners
  • RVA Diamond Partners
  • Vision300 Partners, LLC
  • Weller Development Company and LMXD

Based on its evaluation of RFAI responses, the Evaluation Panel will select development teams to respond to a Request for Offers.

The RFAI is a new intermediate step that the city has added to the Diamond District redevelopment process to facilitate the careful and competitive redevelopment of this strategic development opportunity. The city added the RFAI step to the process to collect more information for respondents prior to issuing a Request for Offers to the finalists. For the Request for Additional information (RFAI) document, please visit Submissions are due on April 25, 2022 at 3 p.m.

The City anticipates the following evaluation process as outlined below. The City reserves the right to alter the process at any point to ensure the greatest benefit is derived for the City and its citizens.

  • RFAI Submissions Due – RFAI submissions are due no later than 3:00 p.m. ET on April 25, 2022.
  • RFAI Evaluation – The Evaluation Panel reviews the RFAI Responses.
  • Announcement of the Finalists – The City anticipates narrowing down the RFAI Respondents to its finalists the week of May 9, 2022.
  • Public Meeting –The City anticipates hosting a public meeting the week of May 24, 2022.
  • Request for Offers (RFO) – The City anticipates issuing the RFO to the Finalists the week of May 24, 2022.
  • RFO Submissions Due – The City anticipates that the RFO submissions will be due the week of June 6, 2022.
  • RFO Evaluation, Negotiation and Selection – The City will negotiate with one or more of the finalists to derive the best and highest benefit to the City and its residents. The City anticipates announcing its preferred development team in June 2022.

About the Diamond District project

The Diamond District project is just one aspect of Richmond 300: A Plan for Growth, which has been awarded the 2021 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan for the American Planning Association. The plan provides a detailed roadmap to ensure “Richmond is a welcoming, inclusive, diverse, innovative, sustainable, and equitable city of thriving neighborhoods, ensuring a high quality of life for all.”

About the Diamond District Evaluation Panel

The Evaluation Panel is comprised of 10 members, including City Council members, city administrative staff, and VCU administrative staff.

Communication with the Panel: Members of the public can send comments/questions to the Diamond District Evaluation Panel by using this form. This form is publicly posted on the project page. Do not email the Evaluation Panel members, facilitator, or advisors about the Diamond District project, as emails sent directly to the Evaluation Panel about this project will not be read. Comments and questions will be reviewed every other week and distributed to the Evaluation Panel during the evaluation process.

Evaluation Panel Members

  1. James P. Duval – Investment and Debt Portfolio Manager, Finance Department
  2. Sharon L. Ebert – Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Planning and Economic Development
  3. Karol Kain Gray – Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer, Virginia Commonwealth University
  4. Katherine Jordan – Council Member, Second District
  5. Ann-Frances Lambert – Council Member, Third District
  6. J.E. Lincoln Saunders – Chief Administrative Officer
  7. Leonard L. Sledge – Director, Department of Economic Development
  8. Caprichia Smith Spellman – Interim Director, Office of Community Wealth Building
  9. Robert C. Steidel – Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Operations
  10. Stephen M. Willoughby – Director of Emergency Communications

Evaluation Panel Facilitator: Maritza Mercado Pechin, Deputy Director, Department of Planning and Development Review, is the Project Manager for the Diamond District redevelopment process and will run the evaluation panel meetings, coordinate logistics, and serve as the official point of contact between the evaluation panel and the respondents.

Evaluation Panel Advisors: These individuals will attend evaluation panel meetings and offer expertise as needed.

  • Matthew A. Welch – Policy Advisor, Planning and Economic Development Portfolio
  • Lynne S. Lancaster – Deputy Director, Department of Public Works