Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth Awarded Port Host Communities Revitalization Fund Awards

Recently, Governor Northam announced Port Host Communities Revitalization Fund (PHCRF) awards, totaling $1.5 million, that will rehabilitate a waterfront industrial property in Portsmouth, develop a testing site in Norfolk for unmanned surface and underwater vehicles and create retail and office space in Newport News! Learn more about each PHCRF project below:

“Investing in our Port Host Communities is key to ensuring the continued economic health of our Commonwealth. These three projects will transform port infrastructure and bring new opportunities, economic development and revitalization to these communities.” – Governor Northam

City of Portsmouth | Shipwright Bulkhead Replacement | $856,000

The City of Portsmouth will receive funding for Phase I of the Shipwright Project to complete bulkhead replacement at 3301 Shipwright street. Phase I involves replacing 430 linear feet of bulkheads on the 13.2 acre waterfront property. The replacement serves as the foundation of many other renovations planned for the property. The replacement will prevent further erosion, preserve the environment, prevent debris and silt runoff, and provide stability to the land near the shoreline. At completion of Phase I, the existing Fabrication Shop will be immediately available for use.   

City of Norfolk | Willoughby Boat Ramp | $394,000

The City of Norfolk, in partnership with Old Dominion University (ODU), is renovating the nearly five-acre Willoughby Boat Ramp to create a testing site for Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs). Several USV/UUV companies operate within the Hampton Roads area and have noted a need for testing sites in order to grow. The boat launch is currently used by several small commercial fishermen. Recreational boating will continue to be available and free at this location. ODU’s Open Seas Technology Innovation Hub will serve as the immediate user, leasing the facility from the city for commercial and academic testing of the USVs/UUVs, as well as helping to market it as a future test site for others. 

City of Newport News | Jefferson Avenue Co-working Space, Phase II | $250,000

The City of Newport News is renovating a two-story vacant commercial building (2510 Jefferson Avenue) into ground-floor retail space and second-floor office space. The adjacent building was recently converted into co-working space. The opening of that building in the summer of 2021 has demonstrated a demand for office space in the neighborhood. This property is located on a major thoroughfare that supports port-related transit.

“The flexibility of Port Host Communities Revitalization Fund is integral to its effectiveness and allows for a wide variety of redevelopment activities. Each project is being redeveloped for a market-driven purpose and will breathe new life into these once derelict structures.” – Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Brian Ball

Click here to view the full press release!