RICHMOND, Va. -- An advisory panel announced Thursday it had selected One Casino + Resort as Richmond’s final casino proposal.
So, what’s next?
More discussion. A vote. And, if passed, construction.
An Urban One spokesperson said Friday if all goes their way, construction will likely begin in early 2022. He also noted the company does not have an estimated completion date for the project but said they have talked about potentially opening a temporary building while the main structures are finished. That could open as early as next year.
On Monday, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney is expected to bring the proposal before City Council.
Tuesday, a public meeting will be held on the project.
Richmond City Councilman Andreas Addison said he believed there were enough votes on the council to approve the casino.
"Once we get the details, the nuts and bolts of all the parts that we negotiated over the last couple months, it is going to be seen as a really strong project," Addison said.
Addison was one of two council members who served on the city's casino advisory panel.
That group announced it believed Urban One’s $600 million proposed gaming and entertainment destination on Walmsley Boulevard was the right one for Richmond.
"There are a lot of factors that we used in our evaluation, but one of them was the community support and outreach," Addison said. "And I think that Urban One had a lot of community support. And it's a very Richmond-connected project as well."
Third District Councilwoman Ann-Frances Lambert sent CBS 6 a statement regarding the Urban One recommendation:
"I am happy we have made it to this point in the process. Now I will have a special 3rd district-wide meeting on Wednesday, May 26 (via Zoom) to discuss this proposal and answer questions and concerns. I encourage all residents to engage in the process."
If Urban One gets the green light from the city, the proposal will then head to the courts to be added to a referendum ballot in November. Councilman Addison said that will likely happen in June.
But not everyone in the city is in favor of a casino.
"I think the community will be fooled if they think that it's going to be a good thing for them," Richmond voter Rebecca D'Angelo said. "There's tons of research out there that states [casinos] kill local economics, that they prey on those most likely to be harmed by them."
Richmond is the last of five Virginia cities to go through this casino selection process.
Addison said city residents could expect numerous public meetings over the next several months. He said he felt One Casino + Resort was a good proposal and will bring much-needed jobs and green space to Richmond.
"Their commitment to investing beyond just the revenues expected from the casino, but investing some of their other profits to support our growth as a community is going to be a huge benefit for years to come," Addison explained.