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Richmond City Council Unanimously Passes Updated Diamond District Papers

Media Advisory
May 8th, 2024
Contact: Petula Burks
Phone: 804.646.6311


Richmond City Council Unanimously Passes Updated Diamond District Papers

“Baseball is here to stay in Richmond.” – Mayor Levar Stoney

Flying Squirrels New Stadium and Diamond District Phase One on Track for 2026 opening

Richmond, VA – Today, Richmond City Council unanimously passed several papers related to the Diamond District including an updated purchase, sale, and development agreement, authorization for bond issuance, cooperation agreement between the city and EDA, and the establishment of the Diamond District Community Development Authority (CDA).

In early April, the City Administration provided an update on the Diamond District project. Based on the advice from the city’s independent financial advisor, the administration recommended to City Council that a City Special Revenue Bond Approach be used instead of a Community Development Authority (CDA) revenue bond approach to finance the Flying Squirrels’ baseball stadium and Phase One infrastructure work of the Diamond District.

The new approach will reduce costs by an estimated $215 million over 30 years, due to a decreased interest rate from +8% to 4%. It will also secure an additional ~$24 million by utilizing the currently available state sales tax incentive program before its expiration on July 1st.

This new approach also accomplishes the following:

  • Does not impact the city’s debt affordability – in other words, it does not impact the city’s current capital improvement projects or our ability to afford other capital improvement projects, like new schools.
  • Eliminates the need for an expanded Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district, and all revenues would flow to the city’s General Fund.


What’s New

  • Special Revenue Bond approach to reduce overall project costs
  • The Flying Squirrels are now managing the design and construction of the stadium through contracts with ODELL (a LaBella Company) and Machete
  • The development team has changed from RVA Diamond Partners LLC composed of Thalhimer Realty Partner, LOOP Capital, and Republic, to Diamond District Partners LLC which consists of Thalhimer Realty Partner and LOOP Capital
  • The Diamond District will be developed by an established local developer, Thalhimer Realty Partner, and the Black-owned, nationally-recognized investment banking firm, LOOP Capital


What Remains the Same:

  • 67-acre site anchored by a new ballpark and mixed-use buildings
  • A signature central park
  • 40% Minority Business Enterprise requirements
  • 40% union labor for the stadium and infrastructure
  • 25% union labor for the privately financed portions of the project
  • 20% of the residential units to be affordable to households with incomes averaging 60% AMI: Phase1 to include up to 100 units with project-based vouchers to assist households at or below 30% AMI
  • Partnership with Virginia Union University (VUU) to establish the Diamond District Small Business Institute and an associated $250,000 Revolving Loan Program


What’s Next:

After City Council’s vote to approve the updated development agreement and financing structure, work will begin on the project in early Summer. Here are the following milestones in the Diamond District Project timeline:

  • Groundbreaking in June
  • Stadium Bonds issued in June
  • Infrastructure Bonds issued in July
  • Sitework begins in July
  • Phase One land purchase to occur on or before August 31st
  • Stadium Construction to begin this fall
  • Private development of hotel, retail, and residential to start in early 2025
  • Stadium complete for 2026 baseball season


Mayor Levar Stoney:

“Baseball is here to stay in Richmond,” said Mayor Levar Stoney. “For years now, Richmonders have been clear that they want a state-of-the-art stadium for the Flying Squirrels and a vibrant new neighborhood for all Richmonders to enjoy. Now we are on track to deliver a game-changing development for our city. I am grateful and proud of the City Administration, City Council, and the development team that devoted so much time to this important project. I cannot wait to break ground this summer.”


Kristen Nye, Richmond City Council President:

“Richmonders have been clear about two aspects of the Diamond District project – they want us to ensure the Flying Squirrels, one of the best assets and ambassadors for our city, remain in Richmond and to support the new housing development in the District, including numerous affordable units, said Council President and Fourth District Councilwoman, Kristen Nye. “While the latest funding model is different than we originally envisioned, I believe this project, including with the new funding structure, is in the city’s best interest and is consistent with the feedback we have heard from Richmonders throughout this process.”


Councilwoman Katherine Jordan:

“I appreciate everyone’s dedication to keeping this project moving forward, especially in the face of very challenging financial headwinds,” said Councilwoman Katherine Jordan, who represents Richmond’s Second Council District. “Just as I have throughout the process to date, I will be focused on ensuring the community benefits remain at the forefront of this project, and that we deliver fully on a dynamic, mixed-use neighborhood, a first-class public park, and the long-promised new stadium for the Squirrels. I can’t wait to see shovels in the ground as we move from master plan to construction.”