BAD Buildings on Camera: Fairmont’s 4-Part Video Series

WVBOY in Fairmont, WV recently filmed a four-part video and article series featuring the city’s efforts to address abandoned and dilapidated buildings. The series features perspectives from the volunteer BAD Buildings team, private owners, private developers, deconstruction contractors, and local banks, who each offers solutions to remove blight from their streets. A volunteer-led survey of the city’s 9 square miles by the BAD Buildings team yielded an inventory of over 300 abandoned or dilapidated buildings, and the group is now focused on prioritizing 70 structures in a target neighborhood. Click on the images below to view each video in the series.

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Property Rescue Workshop in Buckhannon this Friday!

The Property Rescue Initiative (PRI) is a program of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF) that provides $1 million in loan funding for communities to remove or rehabilitate dilapidated buildings.

This Friday, April 1, Buckhannon will host the final installment of a series of PRI workshops in 2016 that will help interested parties access PRI funding and provide technical assistance for locals to address abandoned buildings in their communities. Register now as space is limited.

Anyone interested in accessing a portion of the PRI funding pool to address dilapidated buildings in their community is encouraged to attend.

The full day workshop will feature guest speakers, interactive sessions on stakeholder engagement and the BAD Buildings process, and a panel of experts who will discuss creative ways to repay loans and reuse problem properties. Registration is $15.

Have You Explored Our Tools Section Lately?

Need to contact a property owner about a problem property and not sure where to start? Looking to demolish or deconstruction a property? What about starting a beautification program? Browse the many tools on this website based on your project type, including:

  • Mobilize community and develop inventory
  • Reuse a property
  • Prevent blight
  • Develop a beautification program
  • Analyze maps and data
  • Build your partnership network

Or, click here to find a full list of the tools offered through wvbadbuildings.org.

Connect with Communities Facing Similar Challenges through the Redevelopment Expert Exchange

Do you have a have a redevelopment success story to share with a fellow West Virginia community? Or, are you looking for a similar community to share lessons learned?

The Redevelopment Expert Exchange (RE2) facilitates redevelopment experience-sharing between West Virginia communities. The program matches redevelopment leaders from across the state with communities facing similar opportunities and challenges, allowing them to learn from the best practices and experiences of their peers across the state. RE2 is also offering a series of webinars throughout 2016 — we will keep you posted once they are announced.

Here are some example topics communities have exchanged:

  • Attracting developers
  • Engaging the media
  • Creating urban redevelopment authorities (URAs)
  • Establishing land reuse agencies
  • Structuring public-private partnerships

 

Read this success story about Wheeling’s successful Vacant Property Registration which they presented to Fairmont through an exchange facilitated by RE2.

re_2_logo_FINALTo learn more about how the WV Redevelopment Expert Exchange works or to request a match in your community, click here.

 

RE2 is a program of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

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.

Property Rescue Workshop in Beckley this Friday!

The Property Rescue Initiative (PRI) is a program of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF) that provides $1 million in loan funding for communities to remove or rehabilitate dilapidated buildings.

This Friday, March 18, Beckley will host the fourth in a series of PRI workshops in 2016 that will help interested parties access PRI funding and provide technical assistance for locals to address abandoned buildings in their communities. Register now as space is limited.

Anyone interested in accessing a portion of the PRI funding pool to address dilapidated buildings in their community is encouraged to attend.

The full day workshop will feature guest speakers, interactive sessions on stakeholder engagement and the BAD Buildings process, and a panel of experts who will discuss creative ways to repay loans and reuse problem properties. Registration is $15.

One Man’s Mission to Reinvent Northern Panhandle

“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?

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.