Below are my remarks from the June 8, 2015 Council meeting regarding the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for the Boulevard site development, which easily includes the possibility of a Children’s Hospital. As we have learned in the last month with the withdrawal of the VCU and Bon Setcours Health System from that project, the hurdles are now higher but not insurmountable.
However, the Children’s Hospital Alliance needs to determine the best site for their project (from the 20 original submissions) and begin fundraising and partnering with others to make this a reality.
As many (including the Mayor) have noted, the 61-acre parcel of land at the Boulevard needs to be put to the City’s highest and best use, and a RFQ process would only be the beginning – but would by no means (despite what others may say) – be the end of what happens on the Boulevard. It could easily include a Children’s Hospital, but RFQ process would only be the beginning of what is possible for development options at that site for the betterment of the entire City.