Would be Only Black-Owned Casino in United States with Over 50 Local & Diverse Investors
Urban One, Largest Distributor of Urban Content in the Country, will Partner with Live Nation to Bring 200 Live Shows to Richmond Every Year
RICHMOND, VA – February 23, 2021 – Urban One, Inc., a leading Black-owned media company and the largest distributor of urban media content in the country, today shared details of a proposal submitted to the City of Richmond to develop a world-class, uniquely Richmond entertainment, dining and gaming destination.
Leveraging Urban One’s deep experience as a minority interest stakeholder in MGM National Harbor, a gaming resort located in Prince George’s County, Md., the Company has proposed a state-of-the-art facility in Richmond, conveniently located off of I-95 in the city’s Southside. If selected by the city and approved by voters, the project will feature:
- 150 luxurious hotel rooms
- A 3,000 capacity theater
- 90,000 square feet of gaming
- 12 bars and restaurants, featuring partnerships with local Richmond restaurant owners
- A Sportsbook
- 20,000 square feet of event space
- 300,000 square feet in total of entertainment and fun
The property will also feature a lush, 50 plus acre green space initiative to include space for community gardens, miles of bike trails, a one-acre festival lawn with a dedicated space for food trucks, a playground for all ages and abilities, dog parks, six different fitness trails and a walk-through arboretum featuring Richmond’s native plant and tree species.
Urban One was founded more than 40 years ago by Cathy Hughes when she purchased her first radio station WOL in Washington, DC.
Urban One will partner with global entertainment company Live Nation to host more than 200 shows annually, from national touring acts to the next big thing, attracting visitors from across the country to the resort destination. In addition, Urban One will shine a spotlight on Richmond as a production hub by making an initial commitment of $50 million in original programming production by Urban One’s broadcast, radio and digital companies.
The proposal also includes Urban One partnering with Peninsula Pacific Entertainment, an operator of premium gaming venues across the country, whose properties also include Colonial Downs Racetrack and Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums in Virginia.
The flavor of Richmond will be noticeable throughout the property, as Urban One has developed partnerships with Richmond’s most renowned restauranteurs bringing the taste of Richmond along with local craft brews, Virginia wines and Virginia distilled spirits to ONE. Visitors will enjoy Mama J’s, Perch, Southern Kitchen, Stella’s, EAT Restaurant Partners and Richmond Restaurant Group offerings.
With strong roots in Richmond as owners and operators of KISS-FM, ESPN Richmond, Praise Richmond and iPower, Urban One will bring together local businesses and restaurants to feature uniquely Richmond experiences throughout the ONE complex.
The project is estimated to generate $47 million in total annual revenue for the city, which is critically important for Richmond’s teachers, schools, roads, parks, first responders and community programs. No tax dollars will be used to develop this project. Once operational, ONE will create 1,500 direct jobs with an average income of $45,000. A premier entertainment destination, ONE is anticipated to attract more than 3.6 million annual casino visitors with an estimated 68 percent coming from outside the region.
As a Black-owned business with a successful track-record, Urban One’s project will produce tiers of investment opportunities with a focus on the creation of generational wealth building for minority communities. Over 50 diverse local investors have already signed on to the project. The project has a 50 percent workforce diversity goal and a 50 percent local workforce goal. The construction participation goal is a minimum of 40 percent MBE (Minority Business Enterprises) and ESB (Emerging Small Businesses) and an overall 40 percent Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned Business (SWaM) goal, of which 50 percent will be Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) designated.
Alfred C. Liggins, III, chief executive officer of Urban One, stated: “Urban One is proud of our 40-year history in serving the Black community and developing unique partnerships that create enormous business opportunities. If selected, ONE Casino Resort would be the only Black-owned casino in the United States – an incredible opportunity for the historical City of Richmond. Given our experience with MGM, and our local ties here in Richmond, we are uniquely positioned as an ideal, long-term business partner with the City of Richmond.”
“ONE will usher in a whole new era of dining, entertainment, nightlife, and gaming to the great City of Richmond,” said Jonathan Swain, president of Peninsula Pacific Entertainment. “With the development of this project, hospitality and tourism will directly and indirectly fuel the growth of the local economy. Through a dramatic increase in both fiscal and social opportunities, ONE will transform Richmond’s Southside.”
Johnny Newman, former NBA player and University of Richmond basketball star, and investor in ONE stated, “I am thrilled to be part of this project that is bringing a diverse group of investors together and will result in a premier destination displaying all the amazing things Richmond and Virginia have to offer.”
Radio One Richmond Personality Clovia Lawrence, and another ONE investor added, “I know how connected Urban One is to the community and to supporting activities that give back to those in need. I believe my investment in the ONE project is a re-investment into the community.”
“Urban One has been the leading voice to inspire, inform and entertain Black America for 40 years,” said Cathy Hughes, founder and chairwoman of Urban One. “We are proud of our proposal. Our commitment to well-paying jobs and workforce training opportunities is a core component of this project, and one that we believe Richmonders will appreciate, celebrate and support.”
ONE leadership is committed to the local community, pledging $3 million annually in donations to support strategic partnerships in the areas of education, affordable housing, workforce development and social justice initiatives.
Urban One’s proposal was submitted on February 22 in response to the City of Richmond’s request for qualifications/proposals, which is the City’s first step in launching a competitive process for bringing a resort casino to the state capital, subject to voter approval. A referendum is anticipated to be on the ballot in November 2021.
To see project renderings, view videos and learn more about ONE, visit OneCasinoResort.com.
About Urban One
Urban One, Inc. (urban1.com), together with its subsidiaries, is the largest diversified media company that primarily targets Black Americans and urban consumers in the United States. The Company owns TV One, LLC (tvone.tv), a television network serving more than 50 million households, offering a broad range of original programming, classic series and movies designed to entertain, inform and inspire a diverse audience of adult Black viewers; and CLEO TV (mycleo.tv), a television network serving more than 35 million households with a diverse slate of programming targeting millennial and Gen X women of color. As of January 2021, Urban One currently owns and/or operates 63 broadcast stations (including all HD stations, translator stations and the low power television stations we operate) branded under the tradename “Radio One” in 13 urban markets in the United States. Through its controlling interest in Reach Media, Inc. (blackamericaweb.com), the Company also operates syndicated programming including the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, the Russ Parr Morning Show and the DL Hughley Show. In addition to its radio and television broadcast assets, Urban One owns iOne Digital (ionedigital.com), its wholly owned digital platform serving the African-American community through social content, news, information, and entertainment websites, including its Cassius, Bossip, HipHopWired and MadameNoire digital platforms and brands. Urban One also has invested in a minority ownership interest in MGM National Harbor, a gaming resort located in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Through its national multi-media operations, Urban One provides advertisers with a unique and powerful delivery mechanism to the African-American and urban audiences.