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A Roadmap to Miraflores: Unraveling the Past and Paving the Way Forward

CM Robinson's Staff

May 24, 2023

City Council Member Doria Robinson delved into the complex history of the long-awaited Miraflores project. Robinson wished to shed light on the project's convoluted journey, current challenges, and potential opportunities.

When Robinson assumed office, the status of Miraflores was shrouded in uncertainty. It became evident that the project had been in motion for over a decade but had hit a roadblock. Determined to unravel the situation, Robinson worked closely with staff to piece together a comprehensive timeline and understand the key developments.

One significant revelation was that the property had been transferred to the developer before securing funds for construction without a finalized agreement—a breach of protocol. Regrettably, this irregularity had occurred under previous councils. Compounding the issue, the developer had accumulated nearly $10 million in non-construction loans, with two loans in default, amounting to over $8 million. Consequently, lenders initiated foreclosure proceedings on the property, scheduled for auction on June 1st in Pittsburgh.

Robinson emphasized that there remains a narrow window of opportunity for the developer to settle with the lenders and avoid the auction. However, progress has yet to be reported as the days dwindle before the fateful date. Consequently, the impending auction outcome will determine the project's immediate future.

Should the property change hands, it is crucial to understand the implications and obligations associated with its ownership. The title is encumbered, necessitating careful consideration of the development plans. Robinson expressed her desire to shed light on these obligations and explore how the city can collaborate with the new owner to realize the envisioned Miraflores project.

Encouragingly, a few interested developers have emerged, presenting a possible alternative path forward. If the current developer loses the property, the city can engage with new developers, working with the eventual owners to shape the project's destiny. In addition, the city has secured grants through partnerships, such as the Rotary Club, specifically for historical preservation. These grants support signage implementation and the relocation and rehabilitation of historic buildings. Robinson assured readers that she is committed to working with city staff to honor these grants, find suitable homes for the historic structures, and install the designated signage.

Reflecting on the project's tumultuous history, Robinson acknowledges challenges stemming from staff turnover and communication breakdowns within the city. To address this issue, the city has pledged to provide monthly updates on the 15th of every month. This initiative aims to ke

ep all community members and stakeholders well-informed of progress by establishing a central information source.

As the fate of Miraflores hangs in the balance, Richmond City Council member Doria Robinson remains dedicated to steering this ambitious endeavor toward a successful outcome. Whether through the current developer resolving the looming foreclosure threat or embarking on a new chapter with fresh partners, the vision for Miraflores' realization remains steadfast. With a commitment to transparency and open communication, Robinson ensures that the community remains engaged in the project's future, providing hope for all involved.


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