Revitalizing Downtown Huntington Through Local Foods

Photo by The Wild Ramp

Back in 2012, the Wild Ramp was just a good idea: “why can’t there be a local market in the Huntington area where people can buy locally-produced food and crafts?”

Five years later and the Wild Ramp, on 14th Street in West Huntington, is a key driver of the region’s food and farm economy, representing 158 local producers and moving closer each year to almost $400,000 in annual sales. Since it opened in July of 2012, the Wild Ramp has returned more than $1.2 million to local producers.

Find out how they accomplished this by reading the full story here.

Upcoming WV Economic Development Webinars

The International Economic Development Council brings you this series of six trainings in partnership with the WV Community HUB and its five Innovation Acceleration Strategy communities, made possible by funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Preserving our Stories – Opportunities for Heritage Tourism
Date: March 23, 2017, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Price: Free

Take advantage of assistance readily available to you, while also learning how to influence and shape projects in your region. You’ll hear how to partner with regional, state and federal authorities to accomplish your goals. This webinar will show you how to use available technical assistance that can help you advance your objectives.

Maximizing the use of Federal and State Tools for Economic Development

Date: March 23, 2017, 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
Price: Free

Take advantage of assistance readily available to you, while also learning how to influence and shape projects in your region. You’ll hear how to partner with regional, state and federal authorities to accomplish your goals. This webinar will show you how to use available technical assistance that can help you advance your objectives.

Click here to register for these webinars through IEDC.

Can Rehabilitating Historic Buildings Help W.Va.’s Economy?

Photo Credit: Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia’s historic rehabilitation tax credit was put in place to encourage developers and property owners to take some of the state’s crumbling, historic structures and get them back into working order. The credit is also supposed to encourage the creation of local jobs while repurposing the underutilized buildings.

But the state’s tax credit is 10 percent, and a coalition of architects, economic developers, and others say that’s not enough to encourage the community development they’d like to see. That same group is now traveling the state looking for support as they prepare to ask state lawmakers to increase the tax credit.

Read the whole story at WV Public Broadcasting here.

Dollar Amount Put on Cost of Blight to Neighbors

Former abandoned train depot

That foreclosed house on your street with the chipped paint and boarded-up windows — it’s ugly, sure, but how much does it cost? The answer is surprisingly complex, drawing from municipal budgets as well as the private market, and it’s the topic of a new report led by urban economist Aaron Klein. Bottom line: The vacant house next door is a financial burden on its neighbors, whose housing values drop as it stays unoccupied, and often on the coffers of local police and fire departments as well.

Click here to read the full article on Next City.

CDFA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program

CDFA Brownfields Technical Assistance Program

Brownfields Project Marketplace

What is the Marketplace? The Marketplace is FREE brownfields financing technical assistance. The Marketplace was created with an understanding that it’s often difficult to bring the public- and private- sectors together in the same place, and harder still to have each engage in an open discussion about brownfield projects. The Marketplace is an open forum that connects communities looking to finance brownfield redevelopment projects with development financiers and brownfield project experts. Through the Marketplace, communities can engage in open discussion with experts, get answers to their financing questions, and come away with a better understanding of the resources available for their redevelopment projects.

Learn more at the CDFA website here.

Foundation works to give new life to old buildings

Vandalia

While the Vandalia Heritage Foundation was first formed in 1998, the organization remains as passionate as ever in its attempts to revitalize buildings in the area.

Having this organization, which primarily focuses on northern West Virginia, gives individuals and communities interested in preserving their historic buildings and cultural heritage some recourse, said Laura Kuhns, president and chief executive officer.

“Vandalia was about taking a proactive approach to acquiring and preserving historic properties in northern West Virginia, some of which were mothballed for future redevelopment,” Kuhns said. “Others have taken years, and some are still in the works.”

Helping historic buildings and districts adapt to the modern age is important for many reasons, said Brooks McCabe, a commercial real estate developer who works closely with the Vandalia Heritage Foundation. Read more here!

http://www.wvgazettemail.com/news/20161127/foundation-works-to-give-new-life-to-old-buildings

Three New Developments To Watch Along The Ohio River

Shell

Shell faced questions this week at local and state hearings over the new petrochemical plant it plans to build northwest of Pittsburgh. Local officials asked the company about air and water pollution from the plant—as well as how noise, light and traffic will impact the surrounding communities.

Some nearby residents are concerned about how all these issues will impact their property values. But for commercial real estate in the region, one expert says Shell is bringing, if not a tidal wave, at least a “rising tide” of development. Dan Adamski, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate firm that represented Shell in purchasing the Beaver County site along the Ohio River, says the company chose this spot for a simple reason. “[It’s] primarily because of what’s underneath us—the Marcellus Shale. They like the location on the Ohio River.” Read more here!

http://wesa.fm/post/three-new-developments-watch-along-ohio-river#stream/0

Time-Lapse Photos Show Staggering Transformations Of Inner Cities

Time Lapse

A photographer who has spent more than half his life obsessively documenting American cities is creating an expansive and eye-opening record of how poor, segregated neighborhoods have transformed over time. Camilo Jose Vergara, 71, has systematically photographed the same set of intersections in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities over and over again since 1977. He continues to work on the “Tracking Time” series, and his forthcoming book Detroit Is No Dry Bones will be published later this year. Read more here!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/camilo-jose-vergara-photographer-cities_us_57050cd6e4b0537661882dbb