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Future of UR Downtown and Our Community Engagement Commitment

In June 2021, UR Downtown’s lease will expire, and the University of Richmond will not extend the terms of the lease. While we are ending the lease at 626 E. Broad Street, we are in no way backing away from our support of community engagement. We will continue to seek meaningful partnerships and to support community-identified needs and community-based solutions, especially during this pandemic and historic moment in our city.

Why is Richmond on Broad Café closing?

In light of the current pandemic and the resulting economic impact to the restaurant industry, Richmond on Broad Café will not re-open. Each of the dedicated staff members there, under the strong leadership of Chef Matt Lee, will have opportunities to work on campus in Dining Services.

How long can I reserve space at UR Downtown?

We’re following CDC guidelines and our priority for Fall 2020 space usage will be classroom use.

As soon as we can make it available, nonprofit, government, and university groups will continue to be able to reserve space at UR Downtown for free.

Will there be exhibitions and programming at UR Downtown during the 2020-21 academic year? 

UR Downtown will continue to host virtual or in-person exhibitions and educational programming through 2020-21, including upcoming Summer in the City programs for faculty and staff.

Tobacco Made: Richmond's Unfiltered History, curated by the American Studies Seminar, will be the first exhibition to reopen in the space and a companion online exhibition is currently live.

Will UR Downtown's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site be open in 2021?

Yes, UR Downtown will operate their VITA site in 2021 and continue to support the Tax Assistance Program of the United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg moving forward.

How can I share ideas for the next iteration of UR Downtown and ongoing community engagement at the University of Richmond?

Over the next year, UR staff will examine how we can leverage the many successes of UR Downtown throughout the last decade, embrace the goals of the 2017 vision plan, and enhance distinctive learning offerings in a possible future iteration of a cross-school place-based hub for community engagement. 

The University is eager to understand from partners across Richmond how we can play a role in ensuring the continued health and vitality of our region and best support the needs of its citizens. Please feel free to reach out to President Crutcher at, Amy Howard at, or Sylvia Gale at with any comments.