Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: October 30, 2019
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alenaa Yarmosky, | Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development: Amanda Love,, (804) 371-7006

Governor Northam Announces More Than $1.4 Million in Industrial Revitalization Funds

Grants will support restoration of vacant, derelict buildings

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced $1,440,000 in Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) grants for the towns of Bedford and St. Paul, and the cities of Covington and Richmond. IRF grants provide gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in distressed communities. Governor Northam made the announcement at Virginia Union University, where IRF funding will support a project to redevelop the historic Industrial Hall building into a Center for African American History and Culture.

“The Industrial Revitalization Fund continues to be an important resource for redeveloping deteriorated structures across the Commonwealth and encouraging the public and private sectors to work together to increase economic and community development,” said Governor Northam. “With these grants, we are investing in projects that will transform older, vacant buildings, bringing bring new life and purpose to their communities and spurring new jobs and positive growth across our Commonwealth.”

Projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located, and an identified and feasible end use. Eleven applications totaling more than $6.1 million in funding were received.

“The funded projects are transforming deteriorated buildings that stand as a significant deterrent for future economic opportunity in the surrounding areas and regions,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “Through the IRF grants, we are investing funds into the vibrancy of these communities through impactful projects, and we are encouraging strategic public-private collaboration that will encourage new economic and community development in the four communities.”

Since 2012, the IRF program has funded 29 projects that have revitalized vacant, blighted buildings. These projects have generated more than $81 million in other public and private investment, and resulted in the creation of more than 415 jobs across the Commonwealth.

The following projects were awarded funding through the 2020 Industrial Revitalization Fund program:


Project Name


Town of Bedford

Bedford School Campus Redevelopment Project


City of Covington

Alleghany Highlands Industrial Heritage and Technology Discovery Center


City of Richmond

Virginia Union University Industrial Hall


Town of St. Paul

Lyric Project




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