The Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority received a statewide 2013 Award of Excellence in the Commercial Revitalization Plans and Streetscapes Category at the Virginia Downtown Development Association’s annual awards ceremony on Thursday, April 4, in Petersburg. The award recognized 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 startup through December, 2012, twenty 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.
View additional information about the various grant programs offered by the Economic Development Authority.
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