November 20, 2023

It's Monday. Nice to see you again.

🌤 Today's weather: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Richmond member Gray Woodard!

Today's newsletter is 947 words — a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: 🚍 Greyhound's Boulevard future

The Greyhound station at 2910 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

The Greyhound bus station that has stood on Arthur Ashe Boulevard for more than 40 years likely won't be there for much longer.

Driving the news: Greyhound bus stations nationwide are closing and relocating after being acquired by Alden Global Capital, the investment firm that rose to infamy for its acquisition and gutting of American newspapers, Axios Cleveland's Sam Allard reports.

  • Twenty Lake Holdings LLC, a subsidiary of Alden Global Capital, purchased 33 Greyhound stations from the U.K. conglomerate FirstGroup late last year, including the Richmond station at 2910 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., according to city property records.
  • FirstGroup acquired Greyhound in 2021 and sold the bus service to German transport company FlixBus for $172 million, but retained the stations until the sale to the Alden subsidiary.

Why it matters: Greyhound has long been the brand most closely associated with intercity bus travel in the U.S..

  • Its stations occupy prime downtown real estate that is considered ripe for commercial and residential development.

Zoom in: Twenty Lake paid $11.1 million for the 5-acre Richmond Greyhound property, which sits directly across from the $2.4 billion Diamond District project and within development and entertainment hotspot, Scott's Addition.

  • The sale closed in December, and by January, the hedge fund had listed the property for sale for an undisclosed amount, BizSense reported.
  • The Richmond-based listing agents told BizSense they were reviewing offers and speculated that Greyhound would likely not operate out of the site after a sale.
Inside the Richmond station. Photo: Ned Oliver/Axios

It's unclear where a possible sale stands today. Co-listing agent Michael Morris with Commonwealth Commercial told Axios he forwarded our questions to Twenty Lake.

  • Property records show Twenty Lake still owns the station/property and Greyhound continues to operate out of the site.

What they're saying: Twenty Lake did not respond to an Axios email and phone call seeking comment.

  • Axios has made numerous attempts via phone and email to contact spokespeople from Greyhound and FlixBus since early October. No one has responded.

The big picture: Multiple downtown Greyhound stations closed and relocated to less formal locations after the sales.

What happened: In Charlottesville, Greyhound shuttered its station in 2021 and moved to an unmarked stop in an Amtrak parking lot ahead of listing the property for sale, causing confusion and anger. An LLC with a mailing address registered to Twenty Lake paid $2.42 million for the property in January, per property records.

Keep reading

2. ⛽️ Paying less at the pump

Data: GasBuddy; Chart: Axios Visuals

Filling up your gas tank in Richmond is getting more affordable, just in time for Thanksgiving holiday travel.

Driving the news: The average price for a gallon of gas is $3.09 as of this month, nearly 30 cents below the national average and down one whole shiny quarter from what locals were paying last month, according to GasBuddy.

  • 🪙 Just think of all the gumball machine loot you can buy with that savings.

Why it matters: An estimated 55.4 million Americans are expected to hit the road this week, the vast majority via gas-powered cars, according to AAA.

3. The Current: 📈 Record-breaking GameDay

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

🏈 Just over 26,000 fans turned out for ESPN's "College GameDay" at JMU on Saturday — the highest attendance ever for the show. (Times-Dispatch)

📃 UVA says it will delay the release of an external report into last year's fatal shooting of three student-athletes until after the trial of the alleged shooter. No trial date has been set. (Washington Post)

🫙 Duke's Mayo selected nine pairs of winners to get free tattoos in Richmond Friday for its "best generational mayonnaise stories" contest, including an 84-year-old grandmother who traveled from Alabama with her grandson to get their matching mayo tats. (Times-Dispatch)

🚫 The Circuit barcade in Scott's Addition closed its doors after seven years in business. (BizSense)

4. 🙏 Giving thanks

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

We're thinking about gratitude this Thanksgiving week.

Driving the news: Part of the fun of working in the 30-city-strong Axios Local universe is that we regularly find ourselves talking about Richmond to outsiders, and comparing it to other cities.

Why it matters: Turns out, Richmond is pretty cool — and definitely better than at least 29 other cities that we won't name specifically.

Here are a few things we're thankful for and honestly kind of lowkey love about our fair city:

  • 🥴 How we hate-love-hate-love everything — like marathons, new-to-town concerts and new-to-town humans.
  • 🐐 Maymont goats.
  • 🌺 Our four seasons — except when we hate them, like too-cold winters, super hot summers and aggressive rain in spring. (But not fall. We're cool with fall.)
  • ❄️ Our freakout about snow — and any and all other inclement weather events.
  • 🤦🏻‍♀️ Followed immediately by accusations that everybody over-reacted.
  • 🍝 Edo's and 81/2.
  • 🌊 The river, obviously.
  • 🏞 Pocket parks.
  • 🏘 Our neighborhoods (just the ones where we live individually, of course).
  • ❤️ That we collectively agreed as a city to just love some things (the parks, Folk Festival, rainbow cookies, VMFA and RVA Coffee Stain).
  • 👎 And hate others (NoVa, the VCU Health parking deck, Richmond Real and the random "Welcome to Richmond" sign on the interstate heading out of town).
  • But enough about us. What are you thankful for about Richmond this year?
  • Hit reply, and we'll share our favorite responses later this week.

5. 🦃 Poll: Your favorite Thanksgiving sides

Illustrations: Sarah Grillo, Brendan Lynch, and Maura Losch/Axios

It might be called Turkey Day, but we all know what the true star of the table will be come Thursday: the side dishes.

What's happening: It's mashed versus sweet potatoes, cornbread against dinner rolls, stuffing versus dressing and 17 other dishes in this classic, cage-match style battle of traditional and regional Thanksgiving sides.

  • Axios readers' winning dishes will be announced on Nov. 22, the day before Thanksgiving.

Consider carefully and vote here for your favorite dishes.

😣 Karri was told by a grocery store cashier that looked she tired and should get some rest.

  • So now she wants to know when her mom started training grocery store cashiers.

🥂 Ned attended a fantastic wedding over the weekend. Congrats Ellen and Dan!

This newsletter was edited by Fadel Allassan and copy edited by Carlin Becker.