The fate of the middle passenger terminal has not been clear since 2018. (Photo by Mike Platania)

After a few discreet years, the fate of the intermediate station building along the riverbank is once again in question.

The Richmond Economic Development Authority, which owns the old warehouse on stilts at 3101 E. Main St., held a committee meeting last week in which it discussed in closed session the disposal of the property, as well as the 3 acres owned by the EDA located across the street at 4303 and 4319 E. . Main street.

Once planned to be converted by Stone Brewing Co. To World Bistro & Gardens, the 30,000-square-foot station building has been in limbo for several years. In 2018 the city and stone He discovered that the building was in worse shape than he originally thought and requested permission to demolish it, but it never progressed with the demolition.

Things took another turn in 2020 when a report commissioned by the EDA found that A The transformation of the restaurant was actually possible for the 103-year-old building, although no announcements regarding the bistro have been made by EDA or Stone since.

In a meeting that lasted at least a week, the Emirates Diving Agency’s real estate committee held a closed session to discuss, with Leonard Sledge, director of the city’s Department of Economic Development, citing the standard closed-door disclaimer that discussing the matter publicly could “negatively affect (the authority) Emirates Real Estate)) negotiating position and negotiation strategy.

While the EDA did not explicitly say what was discussed regarding the building at last week’s meeting, Sledge said after the meeting that the group is in the early stages of exploring its options regarding the terminal property and space across the street.

A spokesman for Stone declined to comment last week on any plans for small restaurants in Richmond, saying that “the terminal building is now entirely in the hands of the Emirates Diving Agency.”

Stone has two small restaurants in her hometown of San Diego, serving beers from Stone and other breweries, as well as a menu with pub fare like pastries, burgers, tacos, and wings. Stone, now owned by Japanese beer giant Sapporo Holdings, was set to receive $8 million in bonds from the city to help fund the Richmond Bistro, but that money was never disbursed because the project was shelved.

In the years since the terminal’s structural issues were first announced, Stone’s public language about the Richmond Bistro project has gradually changed.

in 2019 Brewery – then CEO He said the Richmond Bistro “is going to happen” and that it “isn’t just going to quit” from the project. In 2021, the company’s current COO Sean Monahan said remained committed to providing a ‘dining experience’ to Richmond and they focused on doing this at the MTB site.


Stone Brewing Facility in the East End. (BizSense file photo)

last year, before Stone sold for $168 million On to Sapporo, Monahan said the Richmond Bistro was not in their immediate plans. Recently, Stone started A $40 million expansion Fulton facility and shower room.

A pair of other high-profile parcels, which are controlled by the EDA, were also the subject of the committee’s closed-door meeting last week. Her agenda included discussing the disposition of the 17-acre former Washington leaders training facility at 2701 W. Lee Street and the 9-acre complex anchored by the Richmond Coliseum that is slated to be transformed into a mixed-use development downtown.

The training facility is state-owned and the Emirates Diving Authority holds a lease for it. In 2013, the city struck a deal with the NFL to bring its preseason training camps to Richmond, an agreement that included the city Make cash payments for the franchise It has often been criticized.

The Chiefs, and then the Washington Football Team, will hold their final training camp in Richmond in 2021, and any future use of the site will require state approval. for every RTD reportMayor Levar Stoney said in June that he would like to see it become a public green space.

Sledge said last week that just as in the discussion over ownership of the intermediate station, EDA had spoken to the committee about what might happen next for the training facility.

The committee’s discussion of downtown property took place in the meantime Four development teams compete To obtain the right to redevelop the sites as part of the City Center project.

It is not clear when the city intends to select the winning team for this project, and the EDA’s agenda stated that it met to discuss the possibility of awarding the contract, as well as the relevant terms and scope of the contract.

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