From Margaret Everton on December 29, 2009 in Richmond
Something very odd happened in Richmond - something that Richmonders ought to be aware of. In a year rocked by financial failure, massive bailouts and stingy loaning, downtown Richmond witnessed a shocking $1 billion worth of development projects across the books. Richmond is a great city to be a remodeling contractor, no doubt. After all, seven Fortune 500 companies call Richmond home, and with the introduction of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, the city has gained some additional growth. Few, however, thought that Richmond could pull off a stunt quite like this, including $630 million in completed projects. The research sector got a boost with the $110 million poured into the Molecular Medicine Research building and a dental building on MCV campus. In hospitality, the old Miller & Rhoads department store received a $110 million makeover, which transformed it into a Hilton Garden Inn hotel and condominium complex. Entertainment enjoyed the brand new $75 million arts center. Much of Richmonds appeal has to do with its already favorable economic condition, its climate, the scenic James River and the historic downtown. But is this just a bubble that is going to burst? What does 2010 promise? Obviously, nobody knows for sure, but most people think that next year is going to be even better than 2009. Already, there are a lot of development projects on the books. More are coming. Since 2009 was the year of tight credit, analysts think the more readily available credit of upcoming months will spawn a litany of new projects. Richmonders, take heed: more developers are coming to town.