PAWV Launches New Historic Preservation Loan Fund

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Monroe Street in Fairmont looking south towards the Monongahela River – Photo by Shae Strait

The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia has launched a new loan program aimed at getting historic structures rehabilitated. The program is called the Historic Preservation Loan Fund. It is a revolving loan guarantee program to help minimize risk for lending financial institutions in case a borrower defaults and to assist applicants that may not have the capital available for a bank loan. The funds must be used for acquiring, rehabilitating, or redeveloping of a historic building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a contributing structure to a NRHP district, eligible for the NRHP, or on PAWV’s current list of Endangered Properties.

To learn more, please visit PAWV’s News and Notes article.

WV HDF Re-issues Code Enforcement Technical Assistance RFP

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The West Virginia Housing Development Fund has re-issued its Request for Proposals for the new Code Enforcement Technical Assistance Support as part of the Property Rescue Initiative program. The Code Enforcement Technical Assistance program offers up to $10,000 in financial assistance to enhance existing or to create effective code enforcement for communities. The financing can be used for adopting and updating ordinances, procuring a certified code enforcement official, training in code enforcement procedures and practices, personal certifications or department accreditation relevant to code enforcement, and now it also includes contractor labor as it directly relates to demolition of dilapidated residential structures.

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Paducah, Kentucky Attracts Artists to Rehab Homes

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Artists from all over America started coming in 2000 to buy and restore homes in Lowertown, Paducah, Kentucky’s oldest — and most blighted – neighborhood. The neighborhood is now home to more than 70 artists, thanks to the city’s artist relocation program which was made possible with the help of a locally owned bank that willing to take a chance on this untested idea. Click here for the full story.

“Artists are the kind of folks who see what can be,” Barnett said. “They see potential, and we knew that was what it was going to take when they came in to see the neighborhood in its current condition.”

Homesteading Builds Momentum as a Way to Save Neighborhoods

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Community homesteading programs encourage individuals and families to purchase, renovate, and reside in vacant and dilapidated homes by offering a financial incentive (e.g. loan, grant, tax break, or other monetary benefit). Potential benefits include:

  • Rehabilitation of vacant and dilapidated homes;
  • Rebuilding the tax base;
  • Economic diversification through sector development;
  • Substantial return on investment.

West Virginia delegates introduced a bill to create a homesteading pilot program during the 2016 legislative session. While the bill died, there’s a possibility it could be reintroduced next year, and interest is certainly building. This article highlights different examples of the forms a successful homesteading program can take from around the region. Click here for the full story.

Missed it? Get the Webinar Recording – Funding for Blight Removal Through the AHP

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In case you missed last Wednesday’s informative webinar on acquiring funding for blight removal through the Affordable Housing Program, you can find a recording of it and download slides at the Redevelopment Expert Exchange website (click here).

Learn How your Community Can Alleviate Blight while Creating Affordable Housing in Your Community. AHP Opens June 6 with Approximately $23 Million in Funding. The 2016 funding round of the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) will open on Monday, June 6, with approximately $23 million in available funding.

Laura Rye presented past successful projects and discussed key scoring and feasibility issues. 2016 AHP applications are due on Thursday, Aug. 11. The awarded projects will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 15. Early application planning will help your application be more competitive for funding.

redevelopment exchange

Creative Business Model for Downtown Revival

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Tighe Bullock proposes a creative way to preserve West Virginia’s rich architectural history while simultaneously providing jobs for the hard working people of West Virginia.

He gives the example of his real estate company’s rehab of the Ort building in Charleston, a three-story structure composed of 1890s red brick. After four years, $900,000, and the labor of five workers, this 9,000 square foot building now holds seven small businesses and employs approximately 20 people, whose income contributes directly to the state’s tax base.

Part of their model is to create a business incubator where small companies share a common bathroom, copy/fax machine, and kitchen. A major benefit of this model is that it hedges the risk; if a tenant leaves, they won’t be left with a whole empty floor.

Click here for the full story.

One Man’s Mission to Reinvent Northern Panhandle

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“You look at the numbers and we’ve got 40 million dollars a year in investments coming in the last four years, and we’re the two smallest counties in West Virginia? That tells me one thing, we might be small but we’re fighters. And we’re going to make a difference. And we have, as a community.”

Pat Ford, Director of the Business Development Corporation in the Northern Panhandle, is working hard to foster a diverse economy in Brooke and Hancock counties. Check out the full story and listen to it here. 

Can Crowdfunded Real Estate Create Equitable Economic Development?

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A community group in Pittsburgh recently purchased, rehabilitated, and converted a vacant former YMCA building into a swanky Ace Hotel that opened in December 2015. The former building stood as a wasted asset for several years in the East Liberty community. The project’s cost overruns were covered by an investment from the first-of-a-kind eREIT (electronic Real Estate Investment Vehicle) from FundRise, an online platform for crowdfunding real estate investment. Click here for the full story. 

WV Project Highlight: New Facade Unveiling at Staats Hospital in Charleston

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Using funding from West Side Main Street, Charleston Urban Renewal Authority, the Charleston Area Alliance, and the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office, developer Crawford Holdings recently unveiled the newly restored historic façade of the iconic Staats Hospital building, which sat vacant and dilapidated for years on Charleston’s West Side. This is the first major milestone on a project that will bring housing and retail opportunities to the West Side. Click here for the full story.