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Byline: Tom Campbell
Oct. 29--SPECIAL REPORT
The new federal courthouse project has turned out to be the first of a three-part construction mini-boom likely to make a big difference to downtown Richmond.
The courthouse is about 85 percent complete, according to the U.S. General Services Administration.
Work recently began on the Richmond CenterStage performing arts center and a Hilton hotel, each on the blocks immediately west of the courthouse. Those blocks were once occupied by the city's department stores, Thalhimers and Miller & Rhoads.
"Remember, the federal courts building replaced the most blighted block in all of downtown," said Jack Berry, executive director of Venture Richmond. "The court building coupled with the …