Friday, January 10, 2014

City's Juvenile Detention Center Receives 3-Year Certification

The City’s Department of Justice Services received notification on Tuesday, January 7, that the City’s Juvenile Detention Center, 1700 Oliver Hill Way, has been certified for a period of three years. The certification was issued by the Director of the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, Mark Gooch following two 2013 State audits, performed in June and October, that found the City’s Juvenile Detention Center to be completely compliant. This certification follows the Virginia Board of Juvenile Justice’s six-month certification that was issued on June 12, 2013. The new three year certification is in effect until June 12, 2016.

In April of 2012, Mayor Dwight C. Jones closed the City’s Juvenile Detention Center and relinquished the facility’s license citing a loss of confidence in its management and operation. The June 2013 six-month certification allowed the facility to reopen following the successful completion of the state audit.

“My primary focus for this facility has and always will be that we provide for what is in the best interest of the youth we have been charged to serve. We want the young people who are residents of this facility to know that there are people who care for them, people who want the best for them and people who have an unwavering desire to see them succeed in life,” said Mayor Jones. “Since closing the facility in 2012, we have been busy putting in place key personnel and performing the needed upgrades that have moved us in the direction of having a facility that is properly run and well-managed. The State’s three year certification speaks highly of the steps taken by the City as a one year certification was expected at this time.”

The Mayor further stated that, “I would like to thank David Hicks, my senior policy advisor and interim director for the City’s Department of Justice Services, for overseeing efforts needed to resolve the issues that have plagued this facility for quite some time. I would also like to recognize the facility’s new superintendent Rodney Baskerville and the staffing he has put in place, as they too have been on the front line of implementing not only the needed changes, but the change in culture that was so desperately needed for this facility.”

City & Economic Development Authority Announce $450,000 Facade Improvement Program in City's Arts & Cultural District

The City of Richmond and the City of Richmond Economic Development Authority are pleased to announce the start of the Façade Improvement Program (FIP) in the City’s Arts and Cultural District. This new program, one of several recent City initiatives designed for the District, has a total funding of $450,000 to assist business in the defined area. The purpose of the Program is to increase business activity and vibrancy of the District by funding historic rehabilitation and thoughtful design improvements of storefronts. Projects include uncovering and restoring historical façades, removing existing façade materials and replacing them with more appropriate and attractive designs and materials, architectural lighting of the façade, and other detailing which leads to a substantially enhanced appearance of the building. Projects meeting these objectives are eligible for a reimbursement grant for up to one-half of eligible costs, up to a maximum of $40,000 dependent upon building size.

“The City is excited to offer this opportunity for business and property owners to leverage their private investment in the City’s Arts & Cultural District. Many studies have shown that restoration and thoughtful design improvements often lead to greater business success by attracting more customers,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. Mayor Jones has made revitalization of the District one of the focal points of his Administration.

Applications will be accepted until all funds are utilized. To download the grant criteria and application please visit the program website at

To learn more about the programs, incentives, and financing resources available to entities located in the City’s Arts and Cultural District, please visit

Monday, January 6, 2014

Redskins Summer Camp Yields $10.5 Million in Economic Impact

The City of Richmond today released the results of a study conducted by the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU and Richmond Region Tourism regarding the economic impact of the 2013 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp (Training Camp). The City also released an analysis of tax data related to the same.

In all, Training Camp had a total estimated economic impact of $10.5 million on the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Training camp was held over three weeks in July and August 2013 and attracted a total of 165,571 visits to the facility with attendees from all 50 states over the course of the three weeks. “The tax data that we’ve collected along with this survey information shows that the Training Camp’s impact on the city of Richmond and the surrounding area surpassed our early estimates,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Coupled with the tremendous earned media exposure for the city’s brand – valued in the tens of millions – we had a tremendous first year that we believe can only continue to get better.”

The predictions that the City measured tax performance against were generated in an August, 2012 analysis by Chmura Economics. The training camp was predicted to attract attendees from a geographic footprint covering several hundred miles and pre-camp estimates of 100,000 visitors were anticipated.

“We are proud to call the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center our official training camp home,” Washington Redskins Executive Vice President/General Manager Bruce Allen said. “We look forward to continuing our efforts in Richmond in the future, both on and off the practice field.”

Prior to the opening of the training camp, general contractors, construction companies and developers, as well as subcontractors, local and regional vendors all benefited from the construction of the training facility and the marketing related events leading up to the opening of the facility -  including producing marketing materials to signage and video production, advertising and web design, merchandising and catering.

The 2012 Chmura study estimated City Tax Revenue from the football training camp to total $194,981. Preliminary tax analysis of revenue received by the city for likely related expenditures in the vicinity and in categories related to the football experience has already risen to $230,979.29, representing a net positive tax impact for the city.

“These are very positive numbers, especially considering that there are several amounts still outstanding that will count for this same period,” said Sharon Judkins, the City’s Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Finance. “Several businesses that we know were directly impacted by the Training Camp still have to report their meals taxes and it is our expectation that the total performance will keep trending upward as the data continues to be reported."

The Center for Sport Leadership and Richmond Region Tourism report went beyond the tax data available to the city to measure impact by surveying training camp attendees about their direct expenditures while in the Richmond area. Information was collected for lodging, restaurants, groceries, entertainment, training camp merchandise, shopping, gasoline and other anticipated expenditures. The study also sought to isolate expenditures from non-local attendees in order to calculate only new dollars being added to the local economy.

“Fans attending the 2013 Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Camp provided a tremendous boost to the local economy. Overnight visitors attending the Training Camp were responsible for significant economic impact, with average total spending of $887.89 during their stay. Washington Redskins fans came from all 50 states, as far away as Alaska and Hawaii, and they became Richmond Region fans who shopped at our stores, dined in our restaurants and stayed in our hotels. We look forward to welcoming Redskins fans back to Richmond this summer.”

“We are extremely pleased with the overwhelming response to relocating the summer training facility to Richmond and we look forward to welcoming the fans and the team back this July to prepare for a new season,” said Jones.