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JRA Casino 1
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Jacobs/Ryan Associates was selected to provide Landscape Architectural services for the first casino in Virginia. The 45 acre site is located in the Tidewater area of  Virginia, just off the Interstate between Portsmouth and Norfolk, home to many Military facilities and recreational areas. Portsmouth is an historic town going back to the 1700's and to this day contains a significant number of the Navy's ship repair facilities. Rush Street Gaming, owners of the Rivers brand suite of casinos throughout the US, worked with the City of Portsmouth and the State of Virginia to obtain a gaming license and moved forward with the development and construction of the casino.


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Jacobs/ Ryan Associates envisioned an eye-catching landscape for the casino with a large event lawn surrounded by a lake. The event space has a promenade, and formal ring of RedPointe Maple under planted with a carpet of Juniper. The circular promenade embraces a depressed lawn and a stage for concerts and events, while a steakhouse restaurant patio bar and lounge overlooks the event lawn.  Preliminary planning required parking for over 900 vehicles. The balance of the 45-acre site consists of a lake, event lawn, the casino building and its large parking lots and drives. Jacobs/ Ryan assisted in the selection of many site elements such as lighting, furniture, railing and fountains in the pond. Unilock concrete pavers were utilized at the promenade and stage as well as the main entries to the casino. A sophisticated irrigation system was designed to be energy and water efficient and tied to a computer operating system which would consider local weather conditions and adjust accordingly. 

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The Portsmouth Landscape Ordinance required a minimum of 990 trees and over 12,000 shrubs. In addition, over 15,000 grasses, perennials and ground covers were added to the landscape. Areas around the Casino were planted with evergreens, Crape Myrtle, Hydrangea and punctuated with large columnar Maples and Oaks. Ginkgo, Oaks, Hackberry, Elms and London Plane added to the tree canopy. Plant material required for the project was pre-selected from pre-approved nurseries in the Fall of 2020. Since planting would commence in late summer, many "spring harvest only" plants were pre-dug in the spring and held until required at the site. Shrubs, perennials and grasses were contract grown by Midwest Groundcovers. As areas were completed plants were shipped directly to the site and planted. Seasonal flower displays were incorporated in the design to add punches of color. Jacobs/Ryan Associates participated throughout the process through to project completion. Finally, Jacobs/ Ryan Associates developed a Landscape Maintenance Program to be used by the casino facility group.

Client: Rush Street Gaming/Rivers Portsmouth Gaming, LLC; Architects: Klai Juba Wald Architecture + Interiors; Engineers: Kimley-Horn

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  www.jacobsryan.com (p) 312.664.3217 / (f) 312.337.1550   1527 N. Sandburg Terrace, Chicago IL 60610