The controversial Navy Hill project may have floated out to sea, but now the developer has resurrected a portion of that proposal that gives the local medical community a reason to anticipate some smooth sailing.
Earlier this month, Richmond City Council voted unanimously in favor for a $325 million project that would renovate the Public Safety Building nestled between Ninth and 10th Streets at Leigh Street. According to RichmondBizSense, the project will be the future home to The Doorways, Ronald McDonald House and VCU Health.
James Romanik, director of development at The Doorways, dubbed the project as a new center for hospital hospitality in downtown Richmond.
“Richmond has the opportunity to be a leader in this space,” said Romanik. “This new facility will allow us to expand to 145 guest rooms, and it gives us the chance to really program and design the space to better serve our guests and meet their needs.”
The Doorways currently operates out of a retrofitted former hotel which provides 50,000 nights of lodging to about 10,000 guests from around the country each year.
“Right now, we don’t have a loading dock so deliveries come through the lobby, but with this project, we can create a really homey experience for our guests by having a front-of-house experience while keeping the back-of-house activities separate,” he said.
The project is still in its infancy and will take another three years to complete. The Doorways will spend much of 2021 planning and designing its space, which will dovetail into a capital campaign that will help raise the remaining funds for the project.