GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF “VIRTUAL BUILDING” GRANTS
-Virginia Economic Development Partnership awards $15,000 to five Virginia communities-
RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that five Virginia communities will receive $15,000 grants each to prepare a technology-driven Virtual Building program.
A Virtual Building is a business location where all of the preliminary planning and site work has been completed in order to start construction immediately. For example, the Virtual Building has been designed. The utilities are at the site. A development team is in place. Firm cost estimates and a construction schedule have been established. Lastly, the site plan permit has been obtained. This level of preplanning allows virtual building construction time frames to rival completion schedules of traditional industrial shell buildings.
Competitively selected from a pool of statewide applicants, the following communities will receive grants:
· City of Danville (Airside Industrial Park)
· City of Martinsville (Clearview Business Park)
· New River Valley Economic Development Alliance (New River Commerce Park- Pulaski County)
· Page County (Luray Industrial Park)
· Scott/Wise counties (eCorridor Regional Park-Scott County; Lonesome Pine Business & Technology Park-Wise County)
“This program helps these communities continue to set a standard for future business recruitment,” said Governor Warner. “The Virtual Building Grant Program helps the awarded communities draw attention from business prospects, and it helps save time and money in local economic development efforts.”
The grants represent the second round of awards from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Virtual Building Grant Program, established in 2004. The purpose of this grant program is to increase the inventory of marketable business properties in Virginia to better recruit new jobs and capital investment. Upon completion, the five new Virtual Buildings will immediately be placed on VirginiaScan®, VEDP’s Web-based inventory of all available sites and buildings in the Commonwealth, located at www.YesVirginia.org.
The grant program will cover 50 percent of the development costs of the Virtual Building up to $15,000. Local governments and economic development organizations will then match this amount. Grant applications were evaluated on the lack of existing building product, the readiness of the site, the marketing strategy proposed for the property, the capacity to complete the project, and the economic distress of the community.
“As with every successful enterprise, economic development is also being transformed by the latest technology,” said Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael J. Schewel. “We are pleased to assist these five projects, and hope that more Virginia communities will recognize the increasing benefits of marketing buildings in the virtual environment.”
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership, a marketing organization, was created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1995 to encourage, stimulate, and support the development and expansion of the economy of the Commonwealth. The Partnership is a state authority, which is governed by a 21-member board of directors appointed by the Governor and the Virginia General Assembly. To accomplish its objectives of promoting economic expansion, the Partnership focuses its efforts on business recruitment, expansion and international trade. VEDP has offices in Virginia, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Brazil, Korea and Japan.