Awards Announced for 2021 Port Host Community Revitalization Fund

On February 9th, awards were announced for three Virginia projects that will benefit from the Port Host Community Revitalization Fund (PHCRF). The General Assembly allocated $1 million in PHCRF grants for fiscal year 2021 to assist with removing, renovating, or modernizing port-related buildings and facilities in Virginia’s five port host communities: the town of Front Royal and the cities of Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Richmond. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) administers the funding, which requires a 100 percent match from public or private sources, leveraging diverse resources for the redevelopment of derelict structures, spurring long-term employment opportunities, and ongoing physical and economic revitalization.

Congratulations to these localities and the projects they’re supporting!

City of Newport News | Menchville Marina | $250,000
The City of Newport News will receive a grant for the second phase of improvements at the Menchville Marina, the primary facility serving watermen working the James River. The marina is one of the largest oyster landing sites in Virginia, houses more than 90 boats, and employs 225 watermen. Phase two will include the installation of three floating dock systems to increase mooring options and improve the functionality for the watermen. New pilings, commercial grade floating docks, and associated gangways will be installed, and old docks, debris, and pilings will be removed. The project will bring the docks to current code standards, build permanent restroom facilities, and will include the installation of approximately 380 feet of riprap to stabilize the shoreline.

City of Norfolk | The Willis Building | $250,000
The City of Norfolk will receive a grant to redevelop the vacant Willis Building, a 32-year-old, 57,792-square-foot building on Church Street purchased by the Norfolk Economic Development Authority (EDA) in 2019. The EDA is currently reviewing development proposals, which include the renovation of the building for retail and office space, potentially for the City of Norfolk’s Department of Human Services, as well as for affordable housing. Although the project is still in the planning stages, the City anticipates that either proposal will generate at least 20 new jobs.

City of Portsmouth | Lovett Point | $500,000
The City of Portsmouth will receive a grant to redevelop the 51-acre Lovett Point site, which includes the decommissioned BASF Chemical plant, for port-related industrial uses. The site is owned by Thomas Industrial LLC (TI), in partnership with its parent company, Marathon Development Group (MDG). These two entities will work to restore the site, which will include asbestos abatement, demolition and removal of all existing buildings and foundations, and site preparation to allow for marketing and the redevelopment of the property. MDG and TI will market the property for industrial development to include uses such as warehouse, distribution and logistics, cold storage, and manufacturing. The removal of the derelict and abandoned plant buildings from the property will make valuable industrial real estate available for development. The project is estimated to provide between 50 and 100 permanent new full-time jobs.

See Governor Northam’s Full Press Release Here.