December 10, 1999

Lila White
(804) 692-3110

Jill Lawrence
(804) 371-0049
Governor Gilmore Announces Groundbreaking of Martinsville Shell Building

Richmond - Governor Jim Gilmore today announced that the City of Martinsville is breaking ground for its new shell building. The City received a $945,000 loan from the Commonwealth to fund the facility. The 50,000 square-foot building will be located in the Clearview Business Park on the corner of Clearview and Progress Drive. Deputy Secretary of Commerce and Trade Joshua N. Lief represented the Governor at today's ceremony.

"Experience has shown that over 75 percent of business prospects begin their search looking for existing facilities," Governor Gilmore said. "This building will assist Martinsville in recruiting new business in the wake of the recent Tultex closings."

This year the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) named four Virginia localities as recipients of loans for state-funded shell buildings. Charlotte County, Washington County, and the Cities of Martinsville and Suffolk were competitively selected by VEDP from a statewide applicant pool. The Virginia Shell Building Initiative was started in 1989 to offer attractive financing to communities interested in constructing an industrial shell building.

The Virginia Retirement System (VRS) provides funding, on a five-year loan basis, to competitively selected communities for the construction of market-driven shell buildings. VEDP pays the interest payments on behalf of the loan recipient (localities or local industrial development authorities) for up to five years. When a building is sold or at the end of five years, whichever comes first, the loan recipient pays the principal back to the VRS and the accrued interest payments back to VEDP. Communities deemed to have high or above average fiscal stress, as determined by the Virginia Commission on Local Government, are forgiven two to four interest rate points when repaying the interest payments to VEDP. Martinsville will be forgiven four interest rate points.

To date, 11 shell building loans have been awarded. Loans have ranged from $550,000 to $1,413,000. The maximum loan the VRS will make to a locality is $1.5 million.



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