Home Virginia awards more than $10M in Industrial Revitalization Fund grants
Economy, Virginia

Virginia awards more than $10M in Industrial Revitalization Fund grants

Crystal Graham
virginia politics
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More than $10 million was announced on Friday for seven Industrial Revitalization Fund grants in Virginia that are expected to create more than 330 jobs in the Commonwealth.

In addition to job creation, the seven awarded projects include 87 new housing units.

The IRF grants were for the cities of Buena Vista, Martinsville and Petersburg, and the towns of Blackstone, Halifax, Lawrenceville and Wytheville.

“Strong infrastructure is key to any successful economic strategy,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Through IRF grants, we are able to make investments in both Virginia’s infrastructure and vibrancy by supporting impactful projects, encouraging strategic collaborations and fostering strong local economies across the Commonwealth.”

IRF grants leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial and commercial properties.

The program is targeted toward vacant non-residential structures whose poor condition creates physical and economic blight to the surrounding area in which the structure is located.

Nineteen proposals were received this funding round and reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located and an identified and feasible end use.

IRF grant awardees

  • City of Petersburg, Sycamore Grove Development, $3.5 million
  • City of Martinsville, One Ellsworth, $2.8 million
  • Industrial Development Authority of Brunswick County, Sledge and Barkley, $1.5 million
  • Town of Halifax, Exxon Redevelopment, $1.0 million
  • Joint Industrial Development Authority of Wythe, 140 South 1st Street, $750,000
  • City of Buena Vista, Mountain Gateway Community College, $650,000
  • Town of Blackstone, Armory Revitalization, $247,217

“Financial barriers often block the timely redevelopment of vacant structures,” said Bryan Horn , director of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. “The IRF program is intended to leverage local and private resources for redevelopment of derelict structures, creating a catalyst for employment opportunities and ongoing economic revitalization in these communities.”

Since 2012, the IRF program has funded 66 projects that have revitalized vacant, blighted buildings. These projects have generated more than $228 million in additional public and private investment and resulted in the creation of more than 1,200 jobs across Virginia.

For more information on IRF grants, visit dhcd.virginia.gov/irf

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.