April 2011 E-Newsletter                                                    Volume 1, Issue 4

Mayor Jones Announces New Director of Economic & Community Development

On Thursday, April 14, 2011, Mayor Jones announced the appointment of Lee Downey as the new Director of the City of Richmond's Department of Economic & Community Development. Currently serving as Vice President for Business Development with McKinney & Company, Lee has twenty-plus years of experience in urban planning and economic development spanning both the public and private sector.
After graduating from the University of Virginia with both a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Planning, Lee began his career in Petersburg with the Crater Planning District Commission. Lee then took a position with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) working directly with U.S. and international prospects considering relocating to Virginia. At McKinney & Company, Lee has led the company's economic development efforts, allowing him the opportunity to experience economic development from the "other side of the table," seeing the process through the eyes of the private sector.
Lee and his family live in the city of Richmond and enjoy attending the many festivals throughout the city, exploring its museums and parks, and walking through its diverse and historic neighborhoods. "Having grown up in the Richmond metro area, I am excited to see all of the activity occurring throughout the city. I'm pleased with all the recent media stories that are announcing what Richmonders have already known for years - that Richmond is a wonderful place to live, work, and play!"
Click here to read the City of Richmond press release.

Foreign Direct Investment (fDi) Magazine names the City of Richmond Best Small City of the Future

fDiLogoThe Financial Times Group's fDi (Foreign Direct Investment) Magazine has awarded the City of Richmond the top "Small American City of the Future" for 2011-2012. Richmond was also ranked as the third Top Small City for its foreign direct investment strategy and fifth for Top Small City for Business Friendliness.
Peter H. Chapman, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic & Community Development said, "Richmond is the state capital, urban core of a dynamic region, and is home to Fortune 1000 companies that include MeadWestvaco, Dominion Resources and Universal Corporation."
Mayor Dwight C. Jones stated, "As a location of the future and one that reaches full FDI potential, we have embraced economic development as a core foundational service and we are committed to maintaining an international focus. Our plan for success includes making strategic investments to develop tomorrow's workforce; partnering with our nationally renowned universities; developing innovative business programs that enhance our competitive position; and investing in infrastructure to support initiatives including a multi-modal transportation plan."
Gregory H. Wingfield, President and CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., said, "Richmond receiving the number one spot as 'City of the Future' is an important accolade. It gives global companies another reason to consider joining our region's community of more than 140 internationally-owned businesses who are experiencing success."
To read the full City of Richmond press release, please click here.

Mayor Announces New Arts & Cultural District Initiative: ArtBusinessRichmond

On March 13, Mayor Jones announced a new development project in ArtBusiness Richmond that includes a loan from the new City-wide revolving loan program. The loan is for the rehabiliation of two buildings along Broad and Grace Street and is the first new investment through the City's ArtBusiness initiative.
The city is lending the developer $250,000 for a more than $3 million project to renovate one building on Grace Street and one on Broad into apartments and commercial space. Developer Mike Glass with The Becca Group describes the project as "a newer concept in the city called Live Work space. Where artists can sell their wares in the lower level and live upstairs."
To view an NBC 12 News video, please click here. To view the City of Richmond Office of the Press Secretary video, please click here.

Richmond Slave Trail Markers Unveiled       


On Sunday, April 10, the unveiling of 17 new slave trail markers commenced at the Lumpkin's Jail Site at 1500 E. Main Street. More than 500 people attended this historic event, commemorating and marking the sites that tell the historic journey, human impact, and Richmond's role in the slave trade from the early 1600's to 1865.
Mayor Dwight C. Jones, Delegate Delores McQuinn, Governor Bob McDonnell as well as members of the Slave Trail Commission and ECD Project Manager, Jeannie Welliver, participated in this unveiling ceremony.
Click here to view a slideshow of the ceremony provided by The Richmond Times Dispatch. Click here to view the video from the City of Richmond Office of the Press Secretary.

Sports Backers Economic Impact in 2010: $45 Million

JonLugbillThe Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers have again been recognized as the leader in its industry, receiving the National Association of Sports Commissions' 2011 Member of the Year award as well as the award for Outstanding Communication/Advertising plan for the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k. The Sports Backers are the first sports commission to win the Member of the Year award three times, having also earned the honor in 2006 and 2009.
In 2010, the Sports Backers were involved in more than 40 different events with 120,000 participants and 237,000 spectators, generating over $45 million in economic impact. The Sports Backers own 11 events including the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k, the SunTrust Richmond Marathon and Dominion Riverrock.
Click here to view the video of Jon Lugbill, Executive Director of Sports Backers describe why Richmond is one of the best participatory sports towns in the United States. Click here to learn more about upcoming Sports Backers events, such as Dominion Riverrock this May 13-14.

Historic 17th Street Farmers' Market 2011 Season Grand Opening: Saturday, May 7

17thStFarmers'MarketOn Saturday, May 7,  17th Street Farmers' Market in Shockoe Bottom will have its 2011 season grand opening. This season includes the Grower's Market on Saturday's and the Vintage & Growers' Market on Sundays from 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM.
In partnership with Massey Alliance Community, free exercise classes will be held on Saturdays at 10:00 AM, May 7 - September 10. Presented by Richmond Balance, classes will include Cardio Circuit, Boot Camp, Yogilates, CORE, Body Strength and more! Class type will be announced every Thursday on the Massey Alliance Facebook page.
Check the 17th Street Farmers' Market website here to learn about future festivals, special events and vendor schedules and products as they become available.
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Mayor Dwight C. Jones

Mayor Dwight C. Jones


Click here to view the Mayor's Monthly E-Newsletter

Recent Accolades 


City of Richmond ranked Best Small American City of the Future


 City of Richmond ranked 3rd Top Small City for FDI Strategy


City of Richmond ranked 5th Top Small City for Business Friendliness 


Richmond Sports Backers recognized as Best Sports Commission in the Country

Featured Media Upload 


Click here to view the interview with Jon Lugbill, Executive Director of Sports Backers. 

Tourism & Cultural Events 



Easter on Parade


 Ukrops Monument Avenue 10K


Dominion Riverrock


Friday Cheers


Slave Trail Marker Unveiling 


Civil War Sesquecentennial 


Arts in the Park

New Transportation Plan Underway 
The City of Richmond, as part of the Richmond Strategic Multimodal Transportation Plan, known as Richmond Connects, invites you to help us kick-off the plan by attending upcoming public events. Click here to learn more. 


Featured Publications


Mayor's Annual Report on Economic & Community Development 


Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) Homes For Sale Brochure


East End Matrix

Archived E-News 


Click here to view previous issues of the ECD Monthly E-News. 

Photo Credits 


Lee Downey: Michael Wallace, Office of the Press Secretary

fDi City of the Future: Foreign Direct investment

ArtBusiness Press Conference: Kenny McLemore

Slave Trail Marker Ceremony: Michael Wallace, Office of the Press Secretary

Jon Lugbill: Dominion Resources

17th Street Farmers' Market: Ted Easter on Parade: Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau

Richmond Connects: MIchael Baker, Jr. Inc. 





Peter H. Chapman

Deputy Chief Administrative Officer

& Acting Director of Economic & Community Development


Jane C. Ferrara, CCIM

Deputy Director & Chief Operating Officer

Economic & Community Development


Economic & Community Development (ECD)

1500 East Main Street, Suite 400

Richmond, VA 23219

(804) 646-5633