What About the Boulevard? 

Ballpark Update: No flashy renderings have been released, but here are some hints about what the city is planning for the Boulevard.

So far, we’ve heard a lot about Mayor Dwight Jones’ proposal to redevelop Shockoe Bottom, but not so much about his plans for the corresponding mixed-use development on the 60-acres owned by the city on the Boulevard.

The city is relying on the latter to generate the bulk of the estimated $187 million in revenue the city is projecting it will make from the two projects over the next 20 years.

So what’s the city planning on the Boulevard? Jones only touched on the subject during his speech announcing the projects: "This will mean changes for the Boulevard, of course," he said. "We'll have to come together as a community to determine what that should look like."

But according to documents obtained by Style, the revenue projections Jones announced Monday are based on a development that includes:

  • 1,048 apartments.
  • A 288-room hotel with a 36,000-square-foot conference center.
  • 332,220 square feet of national, regional and local retail shops.
  • An additional 442,100 square feet of retail and entertainment.
  • 960,000 square feet of office space.
  • 174,600 square feet of medical office space.
  • A 263,700 square foot health, fitness and sport complex.

The financial services firm that prepared the projections, Davenport & Co., estimates the development will generate between $12.2 million and $13.6 million in annual tax revenue. By comparison, the 750 apartments, 100-room hotel and 65,000-square-foot grocery store planned for Shockoe Bottom are only expected to generate between $1.8 million and $1.9 million annually.

That, combined with an expected $2 million in revenue from baseball at the stadium, falls short of the $4-million annual debt service the city would be paying on the ballpark for the next 30 years, as the Times-Dispatch reported today.

It’s unclear if the city has secured letters of intent for the Boulevard development as it has for the Shockoe Bottom plan. Tammy Hawley, the mayor’s press secretary, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, but she has said more information would be available at City Council’s finance committee meeting on Thursday, Nov. 21.

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