900K for day care and business center; $850K for brewery

900K for day care and business center; $850K for brewery

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  • December 29, 2022
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Two industrial projects in Patrick County have been included in a $24.7 million announcement from Governor Glenn Youngkin.

The Business Development Center has been named a recipient of $900,000 and Cockram Mill Redevelopment will receive $850,000 as part of 22 projects approved for Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) grants. The funding under the IRF program provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in distressed communities.

The Economic Development Authority of Patrick County, in partnership with STEP Inc., plans to renovate downtown Stuart’s former hardware store into a multi-use facility to meet community needs including childcare services, co-working space and a business development center for use by entrepreneurs and local residents. It is anticipated the project will create 10 jobs and provide childcare services for up to 75 children, a Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) release stated.

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In partnership with a private developer, Patrick County is planning to renovate the former Cockram Grist Mill into the Freehouse Meadows of Dan of Dan Brewery. The proposed facility will include a brewery, a full-service restaurant, tap room, lodging facility and rentable venue space. An estimated 20 new jobs will be created once the project is complete, the DHCD release stated.

“The transformation of older, vacant or blighted structures into productive, usable spaces is crucial to catalyzing economic growth to create thriving communities,” said Youngkin in a release form the Governor’s office. “The Industrial Revitalization Fund continues to be an important resource for those redevelopment efforts, spurring regional partnerships, economic development and job growth across the Commonwealth.”

The IRF leverages local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial and commercial properties and targets vacant non-residential structures whose poor condition creates physical and economic blight to the surrounding area in which the structure is located. Projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located and an identified and feasible end use, the Governor’s release stated.

Said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick in the release: “These funded projects are transforming deteriorated structures that impede future economic development efforts into small businesses, tourism destinations, and sources of community pride. Through IRF grants, we are able to make investments in both Virginia’s infrastructure and vibrancy by supporting impactful projects, encouraging strategic collaborations, and fostering economic development efforts across the Commonwealth.”

The awarded projects in the announcement will create over 600 jobs and leverage an additional $72.8 million in public and private investment and include five mixed-use projects that will create nearly 200 new residential units, the Governor’s office stated.

Since 2012, the IRF program has funded 38 projects that have revitalized vacant, blighted buildings, generating more than $121 million in other public and private investment and resulting in the creation of more than 485 jobs across the state, the release stated.

Stuart childcare for 80 in the works

Bill Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He can be reached at 276-591-7543. Follow him @billdwyatt.

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