Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mayor Comments on Highwoods Suspension

RICHMOND, VA. - Mayor Dwight Jones issued the following statement following the decision by Highwood Properties to suspend their involvement in the Shockoe Bottom/Main Street Station proposed development:

"The decision by Highwoods Properties to suspend their involvement in the Shockoe Bottom/Main Street Station and the Boulevard projects is due to many factors. As they have noted and as the City's own review underscored, their plan for self-financing is just not possible in today's revenue bond market. Additionally, there have been many changes that have come about since 2007 when they first developed their concept. Primarily, the prospect for high-speed rail at Main Street Station is a game changer for our area and we must carefully position ourselves for imminent high-speed rail opportunities. Also, there are several other considerations that need further research. They include the cultural heritage of the Shockoe area, the GRTC transfer station, and good development of open space.

“I have high regard for Highwoods Partnership and their creative leadership in proposing a vision of what Shockoe Bottom could become. I am hopeful that we can work together on future developments with the Highwoods Partnership as I know they are interested in promising economic development opportunities for our area.

"Nevertheless, at this time the situation affords us an avenue to fully reengage our regional partners in the discussion of the direction we as a region wish to move in. We know there is excitement about Richmond as a baseball town and we have a commitment from the Eastern League that there will be a team on the ground in the Diamond next spring. What we must do now is to determine what our long-term solution will be and the best way to go about accomplishing that goal."

Contact: Tammy Hawley, (804) 646-3110