RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmonders with $19 million dollars burning a hole in their pocket finally have something to spend it on — 14-and-a-half acres of land in the James River known as Mayo Island.
The island, which was named after John Mayo Jr., the man who constructed a rudimentary bridge on the site, was put up for sale by local real estate agent Alan Shaia of Charter Realty.
The island is currently being used by VCU as an auxiliary parking lot, but Shaia told 8News they declined to renew their lease this year.
“We thought it was the right time to to put it up for sale,” he said.
The island is currently zoned for light industrial uses, but the Richmond 300 plan, which lays out the city’s vision for future development, envisions it as a “public open space.”
Shaia respectfully disagreed with that plan. He says the city hasn’t been in contact about purchasing the land, and he anticipates a buyer will seek to develop the site.
“We’ve had a couple of prospects on it in the past,” he said, adding that proposals have included offices, apartments and retail stores.
While there’s no buyer lined up at the moment, Shaia anticipated that the island’s location between densely populated downtown Richmond and up-and-coming Manchester would lend itself to mixed-use development.
“If you had some development there alongside the parks, it’d be a win-win,” he said.
Interested buyers (or those simply wanting to get a peek at the property) need only drive across the Mayo Bridge and glance out their car window.