Time to play ball: City Council approves developer for Diamond District

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 10:57 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - After some pushback earlier this month on the new Diamond District project developer, Richmond City Council voted unanimously to select RVA Diamond Partners.

Council Chambers went nuts Monday night after the resolution was adopted and showed support from every council member.

“We weren’t sure if we would get that many votes tonight, so we’re honestly shocked, humbled, and thrilled all at the same time,” Jason Guillot, with RVA Diamond Partners, said. “This really is an incredible opportunity. If you heard the comments from the council, this is a plan that is a true partnership with the city.”

8th District Councilwoman Reva Trammell changed her mind just two weeks ago because of those opportunities like jobs, increased revenue and entertainment.

When the resolution was introduced, Trammell felt the selection was unfair, but now she said she realizes she can’t be selfish and turn down something good for the city.

“I mean, I have had some discussions, and I know I’m going to get some calls tonight, but I am going to support this development. It’s for the good of the city. It’s for the good,” Trammell said.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney also supported the unanimous decision saying in a statement:

“I applaud City Council’s unanimous vote tonight approving RVA Diamond Partners LLC as the developer for the Diamond District.  My Administration and Council have worked together diligently to deliver not only the largest economic development project in city history but also the most equitable.  A project that will provide quality jobs, affordable housing and public amenities benefiting all Richmonders. Working together, we will continue to move our city forward.”

It was an emotional vote for the many citizens who came out to speak in favor of the project.

Including members of the Flying Squirrels like Todd “Parney,” Parnell said this is more about baseball and having a space to create more memories for Richmonders.

“There’s so much stuff going through my head right now, but I am very, very grateful, and we still have a lot of work to do, but this is really happening,” Parney said. “Like this is really happening, and I am just really really thankful to everyone.”

Guillot said developers will be hitting the road running this week as they meet with members of the Squirrels on design plans.

Phase One of the project is expected to be completed by March 2025.