Richwood Partners form Alliance to Redevelop Vacant Main Street Building

One building, four storefronts, and several dedicated partners.

The City of Richwood, West Virginia, the local Chamber of Commerce, Building Commission, BluePrint Communities, and a local contractor recently joined forces to redevelop a multi-storefront building in Richwood’s downtown by creating an informal “Main Street Alliance” (MSA). The Chamber president secured a $40,000 grant from the Collins Companies Foundation, the Building Commission accepted conveyance of the property, the city attorney then facilitated the conveyance, and the contractor has now begun facility renovations, which include installation of a new roof and roof substructure and a utilities upgrade.

“Developing this idle property will open many doors for the City. I remain grateful for the generous family donation for our benefit.” — Mayor Robert “Bob” Johnson

In order to make this happen, the Alliance put together a one-page action plan for the initiative. It details each step of the process with specific target dates and indicates which partners are responsible for implementing each stage.

Here is a highlight of the Main Street Alliance action plan — a great model for communities out there who are working on a collaborative downtown development project:

Main Street Alliance Action Plan
Each step included a deadline and responsible party.

1 Foundation Elements

  • Confirm property owner’s conveyance of property and agree on terms: “no strings attached”
  • Confirm building status; assess renovation costs; agree on rehab goals: “provide viable shells”
  • Confirm Foundation Grant funds and stipulations
  • Confirm City Building Commission participation to accept conveyance; clarify project oversight
  • Address liability coverage


2 Team Forward

  • Richwood Main Street Alliance (MSA) participating organizations: Richwoord Chamber, Building Commission, City of Richwood, BluePrint Communities, Community Member
  • List of specific individuals who participated in the initial plan


3 Action Steps — and Who Will Perform

  • Immediate
    • Meet with property owner to finalize conveyance
    • Finalize liability coverage
    • Refine / finalize building assessment
    • Initiate deed transfer
    • Volunteer at ReStores
    • Determine next Alliance meeting
  • Near term
    • Building walk-through
    • Ceiling removal
    • Volunteer cleanup
    • Initiate rehabilitation
    • Finalize how income / billing will be handled
  • Long term
    • Consideration to form nonprofit
    • Establish terms of occupancy
    • Solicit and vet tenants
  • The Alliance will remain in close contact via email and phone calls as project progresses

 

For questions about Richwood’s efforts and progress on this project, email Ray Moeller or contact him at 304-872-2881.