New plans to replace scaled-down Public Safety Building project


A rendering of the scaled-down development planned for the site of the Public Safety Building at 500 N. 10th St. (Images courtesy of the City of Richmond)

A high-rise development project in downtown Richmond will not rise as high as originally planned.

Plans submitted to the city this month by Capital City Partners for its proposed replacement for the city’s Public Safety Building at 500 N. 10th St. show a three-building complex with a 12-story tower – eight stories shorter than the 20-storey structure originally proposed.

The reason for the reduction was unclear. Capital City Partners’ Michael Hallmark said the group would not comment on the plans at this time.

The 20-story tower was originally proposed with VCU Health as the anchor tenant. The latest development plan does not mention VCU, while it names The Doorways and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Richmond. Local nonprofits were previously announced as anchors for the two smaller buildings.

The three-building complex would fill the 3-acre site bordered by Ninth, 10th and Leigh streets and the Department of Social Services building.

A request to VCU to verify if this is still part of the project was not met on Thursday afternoon.

The two smaller buildings, originally proposed at around nine stories tall, are also shorter. The Doorways building is now planned at around eight stories, while the RMHC building would reach just under seven stories, according to the plans.

The total area of ​​the project is also adjusted. Originally totaling 545,000 square feet, the area now totals 463,000 square feet, excluding parking. With the four-level basement parking included, the total building area would total 657,000 gross square feet, according to the plans.

It’s unclear how the adjusted size affects the overall cost of the development, or its projected property tax revenue. The development had been projected at $325 million, with annual tax revenues of nearly $60 million over the first 25 years.

A rendering of the previous 20-story version of the project to replace the Public Safety building. (BizSense File Images)

A notable change in the project is the addition of laboratory space, which was not part of the original proposal. This apparently replaces 240,000 square feet of office space that was most recently proposed, 150,000 of which was to be used by VCU Health to support its nearby Children’s Hospital Pavilion and Adult Outpatient Pavilion building recently. completed next.

The Adult Outpatient Building, located across 10th at 1001 E. Leigh St., has 17 floors.

The project still includes new facilities for The Doorways and RMHC, as well as childcare space that was planned for VCU employees.

Retail space on the ground floor which was to include a pharmacy appears to have been eliminated.

Capital City Partners is led by Hallmark and Susan Eastridge, the development design team behind the failed Navy Hill plan and approved $2.3 billion GreenCity project at Henrico. Hallmark runs Richmond-based planning firm Future Cities, and Eastridge is president of Fairfax-based development firm Concord Eastridge.

The Public Safety Building seen along Ninth Street in 2020, with the VCU Health Outpatient Building under construction behind it.

Kieran Timberlake, a Philadelphia-based architect, is designing the CCP project with Richmond-based SMBW. VHB is handling the site civil engineering and transport planning, and Waterstreet Studio is handling the streetscape and landscape design. Other engineering companies involved include Silman and Buro Happold, and Dharam Consulting is handling the cost estimate.

Other companies involved in the project include Richmond-based Sustainable Design Consulting and Chicago-based Omni Ecosystems. DPR Construction and Richmond-based Canterbury Enterprises have been named as the project’s contractors.

CCP purchased the 3-acre property last July for $3.5 million, pursuant to an agreement with the city that required CCP to assume responsibility for all demolition and public infrastructure costs. City offices that used to be in the Public Safety Building have been moved, and asbestos removal work on the 68-year-old building has been underway for the past few months.

The agreement foresees that the demolition will start two months after the submission of the development plan. In an interview in late January, Hallmark said demolition was expected to begin this spring, with construction starting later this year. Under the agreement, the development is expected to be completed within 45 months of the property closing.

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