State awards $7M in grants to help with site readiness
11 commercial sites across state receive VEDP funding
Eleven commercial projects across the commonwealth will get a boost to help with site readiness, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Thursday.
The Virginia Business Ready Site program, administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, awarded $7 million in development grants. Having project-ready sites available has been a priority for VEDP, and Northam asked for $150 million in his proposed budget to address the issue.
Although Northam leaves office Saturday, as Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin becomes the state’s 74th governor, under Virginia code, the departing governor must create a budget for General Assembly consideration. Youngkin ran on a platform of getting more undeveloped business sites ready for businesses to start construction sooner, recommending that $200 million in American Rescue Plan money go toward the program.
Jason El Koubi, interim president and CEO of VEDP, told Virginia Business in December 2021 that since 2016, Virginia has lost out on 42,000 direct jobs and over $75 billion in capital investment, due to the lack of ready sites or available buildings. Virginia often competes with states such as Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama, Kentucky and Michigan for large manufacturing and supply chain projects.
VEDP’s program has two components: site characterization, which assesses and designates a site’s level of development, and site development, to further develop a pool of potential sites across the commonwealth. Localities can apply for grants to get projects involved in upgrading sites off the ground.
The most recent round of funding attracted 25 applicants from communities across Virginia totaling more than $50 million in requests. The winning projects in this round were:
- Pittsylvania County – $1,312,400 for the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill
- Franklin County – $1,017, 870 for Summit View Business Park
- Henry County – $1,036,250 for the Commonwealth Crossing Business Centre
- Staunton – $850,000 for Staunton Crossing
- Prince Edward County – $640,00 for the Heartland Innovative Technology Park
- Greensville County – $605,000 for the Mid-Atlantic Manufacturing Center
- Norton – $500,000 for Project Intersection
- Botetourt County – $362,700 for the Botetourt Center at Greenfield
- Louisa County – $300,000 for the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park
- Pulaski County – $300,000 for the New River Valley Commerce Park
- Roanoke County – $75,000 for the Woodhaven Technology Park