Just before Christmas, the City of Thomas crossed another BAD Building off of their inventory. The “Eagle’s Nest” building on Spruce Street was demolished thanks to the collaboration of the private property owner, Woodlands Development Group, and the WVDEP.
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!
WHEELING — Rep. David B. McKinley said Wednesday he’ll work with West Virginia’s next governor to push for expanded historic rehabilitation tax credits, while pressing Congress to follow suit. McKinley, R-W.Va., said these credits incentivize private development, and they advocate for the restoration of dormant downtown districts…He cited several local properties revived because of tax credits, and said these buildings now contribute to the revitalization of Wheeling. “How a community treats its downtown is a manifestation of how it thinks about economic development,” McKinley said. “It hurts me every time I see another building come down because I know they could be restored.” Read more here!
A motion made during Thursday’s Clarksburg City Council meeting to award a project bid to Reclaim Co. of Fairmont will help rid the city of blighted properties. Six structures will be razed in the demolition and asbestos abatement project, all located within the city’s tax increment financing (TIF) district. The city received three bids for the project, which were opened Tuesday, and Reclaim Co. submitted the lowest bid at $89,998.
“This demolition property will continue our goal to eliminate a lot of the slum and blight,” City Manager Martin Howe said. “All of these structures that will be taken down, a majority of them have entered into agreements with the property owners to have them razed. For the overall improvement of the city, it’s a great program to continue.” Read more here!
The Corbin Building in Westmoreland in Huntington, WV was a former garment factory which has transformed into a playground for the arts scene, now dubbed the West Edge Factory. Recently the site hosted the second Culture Storm art show with around 20 local artists setting up on the old wooden floor.
“It’s progressive, and that’s the best thing I can say about it for Huntington,” said Zac White, one of the three main organizers and a vendor himself. Click here for the full story and for more photos.
In May, the City of Kingwood received the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Land Revitalization award for their robust recycling program. When the program was initiated, operations were constricted to the City Sanitary Sewer bed area. Program participation quickly increased, and operations outgrew the existing space. City leaders recognized a local abandoned warehouse to purchase as a dedicated recycling program building.
The Penmarva building, which previously housed a grocery wholesale company, was dilapidated and had been neglected since 2007. But the size and location made it ideal for recycling operations.
The new Kingwood Recycling Center, which is more accessible and customer friendly, opened for business in February 2016. Congratulations to the city of Kingwood! Click here for more information.
ANNOUNCING New Request for Proposals- FY 2017 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grant Guidelines
EPA is announcing the availability of funding to eligible entities who wish to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. This funding is for research and/or technical assistance activities directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area (such as a neighborhood, downtown or business district, local commercial corridor, community waterfront or city blocks). Each project funded under this grant must result in an area-wide plan which includes specific plan implementation strategies for assessing, cleaning up, and reusing the brownfields site(s) as well as related brownfields and project area revitalization strategies. EPA anticipates awarding approximately 20 projects in total, funded at up to $200,000 each. The proposal submission deadline is August 10, 2016.
Please note that applicants who received a BF AWP grant from EPA in Fiscal Year 2010, 2013 or 2015 (FY10 or FY13 or FY 15) are generally not eligible to apply under this competition. EPA is making an exception for POWER+ (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) applicants. The POWER+ Initiative is an Administration priority that started in FY16 and continues through FY17. A POWER+ applicant must propose one or more eligible catalyst, high priority brownfield site(s) within the same brownfields project area as a coal-fired power plant that has recently closed (2008 or later) or is scheduled to close.
Link to BF AWP grant funding opportunity on www.grants.gov here.
These federal grants provide up to $50,000 to support the survey, inventory, and designation of historic properties that are associated with communities currently underrepresented in the National Register of Historic Places and among National Historic Landmarks. Click here for more information and deadlines.
In total, 10 men are vying to be mayor of Richwood, a 2,000-person city in Nicholas County, which, like so many other West Virginia communities, is struggling with a declining population, major industries that peaked decades ago, and a deserted downtown.
This article highlights the type of challenges many small towns in West Virginia face when dealing with blight and abandoned buildings. Click here for the full story.
Congratulations to the four West Virginia organizations that were awarded EPA Brownfield ARC grants! The EPA recently awarded more than $1.9 million in Brownfield ARC grants to revitalize former industrial sites and promote economic development in West Virginia.
- BDC of the Northern Panhandle
- City of Thomas
- Wayne County EDA