The City of Richwood received a $3,000 FAST Track technical assistance grant from the West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative (WVRC), a program of the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center (NBAC) at West Virginia University. This grant is part of the second round of the WVRC Financial Analysis & Strategies Teams (FAST) Track program, which will help community organizations develop funding and marketing strategies to accelerate successful redevelopment on strategic sites.
The City of Richwood was one of only 5 projects selected statewide and will use the funding and technical assistance for further work on the redevelopment of the BFG Building. The City has worked with the WVRC and students and faculty from West Virginia University to conduct environmental testing at the site, as well as historical site research and redevelopment planning.
“The former BFG Building has certainly had its trials in recent years, however the base structure is unique and sound, and therefore worth the effort to bring back into consideration for use,” said Ray Moeller, former VISTA and now West Virginia State University Extension Agent. Moeller considers this the next step in potentially repurposing this prominent and formerly vital property. “There are property liens and some obvious physical impediments to address, however that is the purpose of engaging with the Northern Brownfields WVRC program – they bring the appropriate assets to the table on behalf of small communities that are facing imposing challenges such as this.”
The WVRC assembles multidisciplinary teams of redevelopment experts to help communities capture the maximum economic, environmental, and social benefit from the remediation and re-use of strategic properties. The City of Richwood has been working on this project with the WVRC since 2013, when they received an initial award of $2,000. This award from WVRC FAST Track will help to build on momentum the community gained on the project through the WVRC by identifying and seeking financing options for the project. In addition to providing a $3,000 grant, WVRC FAST Track will assemble a team of financial experts to identify, evaluate, and implement private and public funding opportunities for the project. ‘
“In our first rounds of the WVRC, we helped over 20 projects develop solid redevelopment plans for priority projects,” said WVRC Coordinator Carrie Staton. “With FAST Track, we’ll be taking those projects to the next level, finding funding options for those plans and helping communities implement their visions for these sites.”
Information about the WV Redevelopment Collaborative and Northern WV Brownfield Assistance Center can be found at www.wvredevelopmentorg.