BDC awarded mini-grants for several area projects

Local projects received a boost from a program funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. The former Brooke Glass project in Wellsburg and the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor Pottery site project in Chester, both owned by the Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, were among the five projects to receive the award. “These grants are a critical component of the funding for the redevelopment of both sites,” said Patrick Ford, executive director of the BDC. “The technical assistance, provided in addition to the financial awards, will make it possible to develop a financing and marketing strategy to secure an end-user and accommodate that end user on both sites.” Article Photos Members of the Wellsburg Urban Redevelopment Authority, and other area officials, discuss ongoing efforts to redevelop the former Brooke Glass property. Brooke Glass, and the former Taylor, Smith and Taylor site in Chester, recently received mini-grants from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. — Contributed   The West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative, housed in the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center in Morgantown, held an event at Stonewall Jackson Resort recently where they announced the five redevelopment projects selected to receive technical assistance and a $3,000 mini-grant in the final round of the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative FAST Track program. The other three projects announced were, Shinnston Activities Park in Shinnston, Spencer's Landing (formerly Johns Manville) in Vienna, and Staats Hospital in Charleston. “FAST (Financial Analysis and Strategies Teams) Track focuses on providing financial education and expertise to existing Redevelopment Collaborative projects,” according to Carrie Staton, redevelopment research & collaborations manager for the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center. The goal of the FAST Track program is to build upon the momentum of redevelopment planning by creating project financing and marketing strategies for projects to accelerate existing sites into successful redevelopment. Brooke Glass and TS&T were each awarded a $3,000 mini-grant, technical assistance in the areas of financing and marketing, and assistance from the West Virginia Development Office and State Historic Preservation Office. On hand for the awards were Chester Mayor and BDC Board member Larry Foresythe, BDC Board member Bob Reed, Marlene Fleming from the Rock Springs Redevelopment Task Force, Wellsburg Mayor Sue Simonetti, Wellsburg Urban Redevelopment Authority members Frank Johnson and Matz Malone and BDC Assistant Director Marvin Six. A final presentation from the BDC and Wellsburg URA board members, at the WVRC event, attracted an additional $500 mini-grant from the funders at the event as well. In addition to using the funds from the grant, Ford said he will be working closely with the Rock Springs Riverfront Task Force in Chester and the Wellsburg URA on further financing and marketing opportunities for their work, which is estimated to cost close to $2 million for the Chester project and $2.5 million for the Wellsburg project. He said the collaboration will also explore taking advantage of tax incentives available to add to the project, such as historic tax credits, new market tax credits, low interest loans from the state, and other mini-grants from the state.

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