Authority also authorizes agreement with Markel|Eagle for residential portion
Henrico County is excited to announce Markel|Eagle Partners LLC as another partner for the development of the $2.3 billion GreenCity “eco-district.”
The announcement comes as the Henrico Economic Development Authority (EDA) today approved agreements to secure a key property for the more than 200-acre development.
The EDA Board of Directors agreed to purchase the 110-acre Scott Farm property from the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research and resell it to an affiliate of Markel|Eagle Partners LLC, known as Scott Farm Partners LLC. The company will develop GreenCity’s residential portion and an 80-acre park that will become part of the county’s park system. Markel|Eagle is a real estate development company based in Henrico County.
The EDA also approved a ground lease with Markel|Eagle to provide, if necessary, land for temporary parking for the 17,000-seat GreenCity Arena until construction of a parking garage is complete. The Board of Supervisors is tentatively scheduled to consider a development agreement with Markel|Eagle and the EDA on Tuesday, Sept. 12, with additional actions expected in late 2023 or in 2024.
“With the EDA’s votes today, Henrico and its partners are another step closer to fulfilling the vision for GreenCity as the largest and most consequential development in our county’s history,” EDA Executive Director Anthony J. Romanello said. “It will generate tremendous opportunities and economic benefits for Henrico and our residents for decades to come. Economic development projects, especially those on this magnitude, almost always require significant partnerships. In the case of GreenCity, we are blessed to have blue chip partners in GreenCity Partners and ASM Global. Now, we’re thrilled to welcome Markel|Eagle as the official residential developer for GreenCity.”
“From the revitalization of Regency Square and Virginia Center Commons to the dynamic ‘downtown’ Short Pump Town Center, Henrico remains committed to growing the economic potential of our region,” said Ricky Core, president of Markel|Eagle Partners. “We see this as an unprecedented opportunity and are honored to partner in helping to realize the vision and sustainability goals of GreenCity. It’s placemaking with greater purpose.”
Henrico announced GreenCity in late 2020 as a mixed-use development for property east of East Parham Road between interstates 95 and 295. As envisioned by master developers GreenCity Partners, the community will integrate extensive parks, trails and open spaces among about 2 million square feet of office space, 280,000 square feet of retail space, 2,400 housing units, two hotels and the arena, which will be operated by ASM Global.
The arena’s construction will be funded largely through bonds issued by a community development authority (CDA) established early this year by the Board of Supervisors. Henrico has successfully used CDAs to deliver several large developments – Short Pump Town Center, Reynolds Crossing and White Oak Village – that are now helping to fund education, public safety and other services.
Henrico already has conveyed the 93.2-acre Best Plaza property to GreenCity’s developers for inclusion in the project. Under the agreements approved by the EDA, the adjoining Scott Farm property will be purchased from Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research for $35.1 million. To complete the sale, Henrico and Markel|Eagle each will contribute $17 million, and the EDA will provide $1.1 million. The residential portion of GreenCity is estimated at more than $400 million after a 10-year buildout.
Under the proposed development agreement with Markel|Eagle, Henrico’s costs will be reimbursed in 20 years or less. Each year, Henrico will receive the first $1 million of increased tax revenues generated by the development, with additional increases in revenues dedicated to a new, enlarged CDA that will help fund the arena.
GreenCity could end up with as many as 220 acres between the Best Plaza and Scott Farm properties and 16 acres of nearby athletic fields that were recently purchased from Saint Gertrude High School by the EDA and are now owned by the Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority.