By Randy Hallman, Richmond Times-Dispatch
If you like bicycling and have a few dollars to invest — maybe 100 million of them — a trio of local visionaries would like to have your attention.
The three are inventor and former competitive cyclist Matt Gray, cycling trainer and bike fitter and retired IT pro Tom Doyle, and dental supply and services representative Fred Arrieta.
With some advice from investment professional Tom Wright, they have hatched a plan for Velo City, a development they want to build on nearly 300 acres on the southwest quadrant of state Route 288 and Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County.
The development would include an indoor bike-racing smorgasbord, with a steep-banked velodrome track, a BMX course and a mountain-bike skills course.
The project would have an array of open-air courses, and a paved outdoor bike trail would circle the complex. The development would have restaurants, a hotel, residential units and entertainment and shopping venues.
Doyle said Velo City would be different from SportsQuest, a $250 million Olympic-style village planned for Chesterfield. That vision (which, by the way, included a velodrome) ended in bankruptcy after years of financial struggles.
Instead of appealing to a narrow clientele of Olympic-hopeful athletes, Doyle said, “We would appeal to 75 percent of the population, from bike racers to families who enjoy riding bicycles.”
There’s a long way to go — a feasibility study would cost about $22,000. Zoning changes would be required. And there’s the $100 million needed to buy the land and build the complex.