ASM Global has partnered with GreenCity Partners for the development and operation of the proposed 17,000-capacity GreenCity Arena in Henrico County, Virginia, planned to be the greenest venue in the U.S.

The venue will be designed for touring concerts, family shows, sports and tournaments, and will be a central feature of the $2.3bn (£1.9bn) development. The agreement also provides for ASM Global to partner in other components of GreenCity, including its main street retail and hospitality uses.

Henrico first announced GreenCity in December 2020 as a mixed-use development featuring office, residential, retail and hotel uses designed as an eco-district. The arena is being planned as a net-zero energy project, with additional design features and practices that developers say will make it the greenest arena in the US.

“What we wanted in an arena-development partner is someone that also understood district programming,” GreenCity Partners principal Michael Hallmark said. “The arena may well be the main attraction, but GreenCity is much more.”

“A growing list of touring artists as well as corporate sponsors are viewing climate change action strategies as key factors in their decision process. They can go anywhere. We want them to come here,” Hallmark said. “Developing science-based targets and net-zero goals is just good business.”

The arena construction will be largely paid for by bonds issued through the GreenCity Community Development Authority, which was established by the Henrico Board of Supervisors in January. The CDA will be overseen by a separate board. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is expected to lead the underwriting effort.

Design for the arena is to be finalised later this year. Construction is expected to begin in early 2024 with completion in 2026.

“It’s a beautiful development plan, impressive at every level,” ASM Global president and CEO Ron Bension said. “GreenCity offers tremendous synergies for the talent we hope to attract as well as the corporate partners we believe will be eager to be a part of this exciting project.”