“With this reinvestment … not only will the original structures be preserved and brought back to life, but they will fuel investment in the River District and improve health care access to the region.”
Lisa Atkinson, Deputy Director, Virginia
Department of Housing and Community Development
An exciting new partnership for Virginia Community Capital (VCC) was featured at a press conference on Friday, July 6 as local, state, and federal officials introduced the River District Tower Project, a mixed-used adaptive reuse of an historic structure in downtown Danville. Deputy Director for the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Lisa Atkinson joined a host of presenters to celebrate this collaborative venture, which will be supported by $600,000 from Governor McDonnell’s Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF). This spring, VCC was designated as the administrator of loans associated with the IRF program. The IRF will be used for the redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial properties across the Commonwealth.
The proposed project in Danville serves as an ideal recipient of IRF support. The River District Tower involves the rehabilitation of the former Dan River Mills Research facility, a structure built in 1882, but currently abandoned. The IRF funding in this case will go toward renovation of the nearby parking structure, the former Acres Warehouse. The entire complex will house medical practices of the Danville Orthopedic Clinic, Southside Rheumatology and Arthritis Center, Southside Pain Solutions, Danville Orthopedic Spine Center, Southside Neurology, Danville Orthopedic Rehab, and Southside Research Center. A resident and family practice clinic with the Dan River Medical Center will be located on the second floor. Upscale leasable space is planned for the first floor along with a museum honoring the original use of the building and the textile industry. A new restaurant, overlooking the Dan River, is also in the works.
The announcement included remarks from the many parties associated with the project. Danville’s Mayor Sherman Saunders offered a welcome following by Virginia Delegate Danny Marshall. Delegate Marshall sits on the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission, which provided a $250,000 grant toward the renovation. Support and cooperation from the following corners was also noted: Danville’s Office of Economic Development, city management, city council, and the Industrial Development Authority.
Dr. Mark Hermann provided representation for a group of private investors operating under the name of the River District Development, LLC (RDD, LLC). Dr. Hermann called the occasion an opportunity to “witness history unfold as Danville is reborn.” RDD, LLC has committed an investment of $14.5 million to the project retaining and creating 150 jobs for Danville.
About Virginia Community Capital
Virginia Community Capital (VCC) is a multi-million dollar non-profit, community development financial institution (CDFI) and banking entity providing innovative loan and investment solutions for affordable housing and economic development projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our mission is to offer innovative, flexible financial products designed to support housing and community development ventures, increase jobs and build sustainable communities. VCC offers loan capital broader than bank lending to projects that have a positive community impact in low- to moderate-income communities in underserved geographies and markets. To learn more about the organization, visit: vacommunitycapital.org
About the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF)
Across the Commonwealth, vacant and deteriorated industrial properties stand as remnants of past economic vibrancy and local economies in transition. These structures are no longer suited for their former purpose, and in their current deteriorated condition, stand as a significant deterrent for future economic opportunity in the surrounding area and region. In a strategic response to this issue, Virginia’s General Assembly allocated $3,000,000 for FY 12 to be used for the redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial properties across the Commonwealth. The $3 million will leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of these structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and ongoing physical and economic revitalization. Funding for this program was made possible by the "Opportunity at Work" budget initiative as a recommendation of the Distressed Communities Sub-committee of the Governor's Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation. Priority is given to projects in distressed localities.