RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – On Friday, Governor Ralph Northam announced the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) awards for the towns of Vinton, Wytheville and Warsaw.
The funds, totaling more than $1.4 million total will provide gap financing to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of deteriorated structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and ongoing physical and economic revitalization.
“This funding will not only help transform deteriorating or unused structures, it will bring purpose and new opportunity to the surrounding communities. With these three projects, we are making important investments in our future. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, our administration remains focused on driving economic growth to every corner of the Commonwealth, especially in rural Virginia.”Governor Ralph Northam
The following projects will receive IRF awards:
- Vinton: Gish Mill Redevelopment Project ($468,750)
- The Town of Vinton will redevelop the historic Gish Mill into a mixed-use site that includes a restaurant, speakeasy, seasonal market, and lodging rooms. The IRF loan will be used for the rehabilitation and repair of the structure, as well as the demolition and removal of specific components. Vinton purchased the property in 2015 and is in the process of selling it to a local development group, which has private financing from local lending institutions committed for the purchase and renovation. This project is expected to create 37 full- and part-time jobs.
- Wytheville: Millwald Threatre Restoration and Economic Revitalization Project ($500,000)
- The Town of Wytheville is rehabilitating the Millwald Theatre as a community auditorium for live and film entertainment, as well as a center for performing arts education. The IRF award will be used for demolition and new construction within the existing structure, a new HVAC system, new plumbing, new electrical upgrades, and architecture and engineering fees. The project is expected to create seven full-time and at least seven part-time jobs.
- Warsaw: Warsaw Hardware Building Redevelopment Project (468,750)
- The Town of Warsaw will utilize the IRF award for the buildout of a centrally located mixed-use site that will have a brewery space, taproom, upstairs event space, and patio. The Town of Warsaw received a $1 million Community Development Block Grant in 2017, and this project will help continue the locally developed revitalization plan. Matching funds for this project will come from the developer, Old Rappahannock Development Company, with the town contributing $93,000 in economic incentives. The project is expected to create four full-time and five to 10 part-time jobs.