Home Arcadia Project receives $1.5 million in grant funding; venue expected to open in 2025

Arcadia Project receives $1.5 million in grant funding; venue expected to open in 2025

Crystal Graham

arcadia project logo The City of Staunton received a $1.5 million industrial revitalization grant on behalf of The Arcadia Project, that will transform the former Dixie Theater into an adaptive mixed-use facility and food café.

Staunton was one of four localities in Virginia selected for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Industrial Revitalization Fund/American Rescue Plan Act grant.

“We are thrilled with this news,” said Executive Director of the Arcadia Project Pamela Mason Wagner. “Our ability to renovate the historic theater at the east end of Beverley Street and develop a space to connect people through culture and creativity is a testament to our community. We are humbled by the tremendous contributions that helped us obtain the matching funding needed for this IRF grant application.”

On June 8, Staunton City Council voted to support a resolution to support the IRF application designed to rehabilitate vacant or distressed properties.

The program requires a 1:1 match of grant funds. The local match requirement is being provided by The Arcadia Project.

The plan is to redevelop the 125 E. Beverley St. property for films, an event and performance space, classrooms and a small café.

“Our capital campaign continues,” said Arcadia Project Treasurer and Capital Campaign Chair Stanley Grimm. “The non-profit organization will continue to seek community support to start operations debt-free.”

Arcadia Project President Thomas Wagner said the organization plans to advertise in the next few weeks for contractors for the project.

Interior renovations will begin in the next few months.

The new space is expected to open in early 2025.

“A grant of this magnitude significantly helps rehabilitate a much-loved venue in our historic downtown,” said Staunton Mayor Stephen W. Claffey. “The dedication of, and funds raised by, The Arcadia Project will create a number of employment opportunities as well as another vibrant spot in Downtown Staunton.”

Since 2012, the IRF program has funded 67 projects that have revitalized vacant, blighted buildings. These projects have generated more than $208M in other public and private investment and resulted in the creation of more than 1,100 jobs across the Commonwealth.

Michael Brown serves as architect for the remodeled building. Historic tax credits are being handled by Frazier & Associates.

For more information about The Arcadia Project, visit https://thearcadiaproject.org/.

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Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.