Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Crunching the baseball stadium numbers

Like some other longtime baseball fans in Richmond, Charlie Diradour is against the Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium deal. His Back Page piece in this week's STYLE Weekly details some of why he doesn't want professional baseball to leave The Boulevard.
But the deal simply doesn’t add up. First, Highwoods’ projected retail and restaurant development is outlandishly overconfident. The developer’s claim that it can build 192,400 square feet worth of retail and restaurants, and generate more than $78 million in sales, is simply not feasible. This is important because the sales revenues generate the taxes needed to pay for the ballpark.
As a person well-versed in real estate matters, Diradour offers a perspective that some who dream of building an amusement park/baseball stadium in Shockoe Bottom may be overlooking. Click here to read Diradour's argument against baseball in The Bottom.
Then there's Garry Krantz's new feature on the baseball stadium project in Richmond Magazine.
The pitch sounds simple, but therein lies the curveball. Revenue projections are speculative, and Highwoods Properties’ executives have yet to disclose a single retail or other prospective business tenant for the complex. And while it continues to tout the project in public meetings with city residents, at press time Highwoods Properties had yet to submit formal development proposals to the city. The developers gave the city’s administration an Aug. 1 deadline to sign a letter of intent to progress with the project, placing it under Council’s consideration.
Click here to read the entire Richmond Magazine piece, which offers an overview of this issue that may be useful, especially to a reader not familiar with some of its history.

Click here to read my call for a referendum to settle this issue.


schlep said...

Devil's Advocate time. Do we get an option to vote for "No Baseball Stadium at all" on this referendum of yours? How is it a foregone conclusion that Richmond cares deeply about minor league baseball,and that wherever you build it, they will come?
Of course if you ask Richmonders, they will say it is a shame the Braves left, and that something changed, Wilder that terrible man, etc. - but then ask them the last time they went to a Braves game....

Stuart said...

Don McEachin thinks it is a done deal, he's ready to divide the spoils:

"A Shockoe Center Minority Participation Briefing/Reception to provide briefing on potential minority participation in the Shockoe Center development by contractors, subcontractors and design professionals will be hosted on April 21 by Donald McEachin, Highwoods Properties and Central Virginia Business and Construction Association in Senate Room 3 at State Capitol."