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Fredericksburg’s Economic Development Authority receives state award
The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority received a statewide honor Thursday during the annual awards event of the Virginia Downtown Development Association, Assistant Director for Economic Development Richard Tremblay announced this morning.
The city’s EDA received a 2013 Award of Excellence in the Commercial Revitalization Plans and Streetscapes Category.
Tremblay provided the following details.
The award recognizes the Downtown Commercial Façade Improvement Matching Grants Program launched by the Fredericksburg EDA in October 2011.
The program offers 50/50 matching grants up to $10,000 to property owners and businesses in the 40-block downtown historic district interested in improving the facades of their commercial buildings.
The Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development and Tourism nominated the EDA program for the award.
“The EDA is pleased with the broad business participation and positive impacts the matching grants program has had on the downtown retail streetscape,” said Joe Wilson, who was chair of the EDA when the program was created and remains on the board. “VDDA’s recognition of our efforts is greatly appreciated.”
The EDA’s goal is to get as many building owners as possible with moderate to major façade improvement needs to participate in the new program over three years. Since the program’s October 2011 start-up through December 2012, 20 downtown commercial building facades have been improved with EDA grants totaling $111,000, leveraging additional private investment of approximately $392,000. The program is based on a May 2011 report by Frazier Associates assessing the façade improvement needs for each of the downtown’s 230 commercial and mixed use buildings. This is one of several economic development grant programs offered by the EDA which receives its funding from annual fees on bonds it has issued to qualified borrowers.
The VDDA annual awards recognize excellence in downtown revitalization throughout the Commonwealth, showcasing the achievement of organizations, individuals and governments in meeting the challenges of downtown management and development. Founded in 1982, the VDDA advocates, supports and promotes leadership in downtown revitalization throughout Virginia.