The City of Williamsburg has won a 2012 Community Economic Development Award for its population category from the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), the regional economic development association that includes 17 US states. The awards will be presented at the association's annual conference in August in Myrtle Beach, SC.
The City of Williamsburg's Demolition Loan Program was the recipient of the award in Population Category Two (5,001-15,000), incorporating Community Development and Business Attraction in their nomination. This initiative provided tools to stimulate enhancements in commercial areas of the City, by encouraging private development of underused commercial properties in order to improve the economic vitality of commercial areas from functional and aesthetic perspectives. Redevelopment projects often encounter financial and environmental obstacles, so the Williamsburg Economic Development Authority (EDA) developed a Demolition Loan Program to jumpstart redevelopment projects in the City. The Demolition Program provides capital to demolish underutilized buildings to allow for redevelopment projects to take their places. This infusion of cash allows a property owner to prepare a brownfield property for the redevelopment market.
Highlights of the program include:
- Leveraged $69.58 of private funds for every $1 loaned by EDA.
- Annual new direct local tax receipts of $264,134, which is a 191% annual rate of return on investment before one of the four projects is completed.
- Small cash infusions have encouraged redevelopment projects, which benefit the City’s tax base and enhance its commercial corridors and economic viability.
- The program has created forty-nine jobs and leveraged $9,616,232 of private investment in the City.
- The program has addressed its community development issue by encouraging private redevelopment in a landlocked City.
- This redevelopment has eliminated unsightly buildings and increased the City’s tax base with new, thriving businesses.
The Demolition Program received a 2012 Community Economic Development Award earlier this year from the Virginia Economic Developers Association (VEDA). VEDA submitted its eligible winners from its past two years of awards following the format developed by the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC).
“We are excited that such a successful program continues to be recognized by professional economic development organizations,” said Monty Mason, Chairman of Williamsburg’s Economic Development Authority. “This upfront use of funds is good for business owners and presents an extraordinary rate of return to the City.”
The CEDA awards are designed to recognize outstanding communities in the SEDC region for their efforts in advancing the economic viability of their community through economic and community development programs.
To see copies of each of the selected Community Economic Development Awards submissions link to GoVEDA.org.