Posts Tagged ‘redevelopment’

Funding Opportunity: BDC of the Northern Panhandle Accepting Proposals

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Funding, News

The Business Development Corporation is accepting letter of interest (LOI) for the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Brownfield Assessment Coalition Project for Hazardous Substances and Petroleum. The project area is Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio. The deadline to submit an LOI is 1:00 PM on Friday, October 14, 2016.

Submit LOIs to:
Michael Paprocki, Executive Director, BHJ Metro Planning Commission
124 North 4th Street, 2nd Floor
Stuebenville, OH 43952

Read the full RFP here. For questions regarding this notice, please contact Michael Paprocki at (740) 282-3685.

West Virginia Brownfields Conference champions honored

Written by The State Journal on . Posted in Media, News

Communities across the state were recognized for their efforts to repurpose old industrial properties at the 11th annual West Virginia Brownfields Conference, hosted by the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers in Charleston recently.

Patrick Kirby, executive director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, said the awards “recognize individuals and communities who have made major contributions to the redevelopment of brownfields in West Virginia.” The term “brownfield” refers to property for which expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.

The Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle was this year’s recipient of the West Virginia Brownfield Award in Economic Development, given to a project or community partner that has demonstrated excellence in economic development on one or more brownfield sites. The BDC has transformed formerly contaminated brownfields properties throughout the Northern Panhandle and has leveraged $69 million of private and public investment on brownfield redevelopment projects in Chester, Newell, Weirton, Wellsburg and Beech Bottom.

“After our initial acquisition of our first brownfield, the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor Pottery Factory in Chester, we saw more opportunities to repurpose overlooked abandoned properties for industrial and commercial uses,” said Mike Swartzmiller, Hancock County Commission president and BDC executive board member. “We see brownfields as the perfect chance to revitalize and reuse properties in northern panhandle communities. Today, brownfields in Brooke and Hancock counties are home to over two dozen businesses.”

Also on hand at the awards ceremony was George Heines, chairman of the Brick Yard Bend Revitalization Group in New Cumberland, who credited community members and other organizations with which the BDC has partnered in recent years on its various projects. Those partnerships, he said, have helped many of the local projects move forward, providing funding for planning, marketing and cleanup, as well as opportunities to invest in abandoned properties.

“The award is more a reflection of the work of the people behind the scenes — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Northern Brownfields Assistance Center, Claude W. Benedum Foundation, elected officials and all the volunteers — who commit the time in our task force meetings to identify, acquire, clean up and develop these abandoned properties,” BDC Executive Director Pat Ford said, pointing out some of the BDC’s ongoing efforts are projects in Chester with the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor pottery, the former Brooke Glass in Wellsburg, the former Wheeling Corrugating site in Beech Bottom, the Three Springs Business Park in Weirton and a historic lodge and former high school football field in Weirton.

Earlier this year, the BDC’s brownfield redevelopment efforts were featured in a new U.S. EPA-sponsored video for other economic development groups to use as a reference, and in 2015, the BDC received an Environmental Award for Excellence from the WVDEP for land revitalization and stewardship.

The Community Engagement award was presented to Van Voorhis Landing Kayak Launch Project, located on the former Quality Glass property in Monongalia County. The award recognizes the efforts of the Mon River Trails Conservancy and the Morgantown Area Paddlers to collaborate with more than 20 stakeholder organizations as well as the Morgantown community “to bring the final vision for the former Quality Glass brownfield site to life.”

WVBAC said the community raised some $40,000 in three months from 15 organizations and businesses, three small grants, 16 donations from private citizens and a special drawing. In the process, many volunteers were recruited to support the upkeep of the Van Voorhis Landing Facility. The launch will increase access to the Mon River Rail-Trail and Upper Mon Water Trail; increase parking for trail users and boaters; improve the rail-trail and water trail overall experience; further promote recreational opportunities in the area and bring new outdoor recreation business opportunities to surrounding communities, including star City, Morgantown and Port Marion, Pennsylvania.

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Communities uniting to revitalize the UKV

Written by Bill Frye for the Montgomery Herald on . Posted in Media, News

Officials and concerned residents from three Fayette County communities turned out Thursday afternoon for a meeting to discuss revitalization efforts for the Upper Kanawha Valley.

Representatives from Smithers, Montgomery and Gauley Bridge listened to speakers and discussed how they can approach dilapidated buildings to bring new life to their communities by cleaning up the blight or repurposing it for new growth.

Facilitated by the Fayette County Resource Coordinator’s office, the meeting featured speakers from across the state who have experience in helping communities with their dilapidated buildings.

Speakers included Tighe Bullock from Charleston’s West Side Main Street program; Luke Elser, program manager for the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center; Katherine Garvey, director of the West Virginia University Land Use Law Clinic; Kate Greene, program manager for the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center; and Nicole Marrocco, coordinator for the Abandoned Property Coalition/WVHUB.

Gabriel Peña, Fayette County assistant resource coordinator, said the program for the three communities was part of a flex-e-grant through the West Virginia Development Office.

With the grant committees, Smithers, Montgomery and Gauley Bridge will be able to apply for resources to demolish or redevelop dilapidated structures in their communities.

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A Step Toward Renewal

Written by Michelle Sloane for Renewal and Development Magazine on . Posted in Media, News

West Virginia towns take the steps toward renewal by addressing vacant properties

“They stopped thinking about it as me and started thinking about it as we.”

Two years ago, community members in Fairmont, West Va. decided to address the significant number of abandoned buildings in the city by forming a Brownfields, Abandoned, and Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Team, supported with technical assistance from the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC).

While City Planning Department staff spearheaded the effort, volunteer citizens surveyed 326 properties across 110 miles of city streets — on foot. After dividing the city by council districts, 18 volunteers walked the streets in pairs to document the conditions of abandoned and dilapidated properties via a 2-page survey per building.

Volunteers then compiled the survey information into a database and researched property owners within a month and a half. The inventory became a live document, as the team continues to update information about properties.

While many City Council members were initially against the creation of strong legal enforcement like a vacant property ordinance, the results of the volunteer-driven inventory process demonstrated the need to implement specific tools to tackle the dilapidated building situation. The city passed a Vacant Property Registration Ordinance and created tax credits rewarding vacant property rehabilitation.

Soon after establishing the Vacant Property Registration Program, Fairmont representatives met with counterparts from the city of Wheeling, West Va. to exchange insights and discuss similarities and differences between their programs. NBAC staff facilitated the meeting through the Redevelopment Expert Exchange program.