Posted by Brandon Jarvis
RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced Phase II of the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP) development grants for eight sites across the Commonwealth totaling $1,188,288 in grant funding. The VBRSP, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), is a discretionary program established to help Virginia localities develop and market their existing industrial or commercial sites to prospective businesses, thus enhancing the Commonwealth’s infrastructure and promoting its competitive business environment.
“The Virginia Business Ready Sites Program is a valuable tool that helps to identify and improve marketable sites for prospective businesses,” said Governor McAuliffe. “As we continue to diversify and build the new Virginia economy, these sites will offer prospective business partners potential homes where they can locate, thrive and create opportunity in communities across the Commonwealth. I congratulate all of the Phase II grantees on bolstering Virginia’s marketability for economic development projects.”
The eight Virginia sites awarded Phase II development grants totaling more than $1.18 million are the Holland/Axelle site in the Town of Ashland; Mill Place Commerce Park in Augusta County; Orrock & Simms Property in Caroline County and Spotsylvania County; Summit View Business Park in Franklin County; Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre in Henry County; King Property in Orange County; Nature’s Crossing Technology Center in the City of Waynesboro; and Wood Haven Road Property in Roanoke County. Phase I site characterization grants totaling just over $96,000 were announced in November 2016 for more than 20 Virginia localities to assess their industrial or commercial sites and receive a Site Characterization Tier Level.
Upon completion of work, three sites will be designated Tier 4 status, meaning all critical infrastructure components are in place: Mill Place Commerce Park in Augusta County, Nature’s Crossing Technology Center in the City of Waynesboro, and Summit View Business Park in Franklin County. Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre, a joint effort by Martinsville and Henry County, will move to Tier 5, the highest level of readiness.
Through this public-private partnership program, localities can apply for funding to identify marketable properties greater than 100 contiguous acres. Acreage readiness is ranked from Tier 1 to Tier 5, as outlined below.
- Tier 1:The site is not zoned and minimal or no due diligence has been performed;
- Tier 2:Owners have agreed to a competitive sale price and the comprehensive plan reflects that the site is intended for industrial or commercial development;
- Tier 3:Sites are zoned for commercial and industrial use, due diligence has been completed and the estimated costs of development have been quantified;
- Tier 4:All infrastructure is in place or will be deliverable within one year and all permit issues have been identified or quantified; and
- Tier 5:All permits are in place and the site is ready for a disturbance permit.
“The Virginia Business Ready Sites Program offers localities across the Commonwealth the ability to take a critical look at their large acreage sites and assess what could be developed for future opportunities,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore. “This program is a great collaboration among state, regional, and local stakeholders, and is a testament to the importance of economic development as a team sport as we work together to create jobs for all Virginians.”
Grantees may use the funding for site assessment and development, including environmental assessments, wetland delineation, boundary survey, infrastructure design and development, and other costs associated with improving the site. The VBRSP committee includes VEDP, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, railroad representatives, utility representatives, civil engineers and other government, business, and industry representatives.
Phase II award recipients:
|Grantee||Locality||Site Name||Funding Award|
|Town of Ashland
|Augusta County||Mill Place Commerce Park||$21,988|
|Franklin County||Summit View Business Park||$250,000|
|Fredericksburg Regional Alliance||Caroline and Spotsylvania Counties||Orrock & Simms Property||$30,000
|Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corporation
|Henry County||Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre||$500,000|
|Orange County||King Property||$40,300|
|Waynesboro Economic Development Authority
|City of Waynesboro||Nature’s Crossing Technology Center||$216,500|
|Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority
|Roanoke County||Wood Haven Road Property||$100,000|