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Virginia port cities to receive grants for revitalization projects

Aerial view of the Elizabeth River harbor and Town Point Park in the Water District of Norfolk, Virginia

Posted on April 24, 2023

Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced $1.5 million in grants to support revitalization projects in the Virginia port communities of Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth before his trade mission trips to Asia later this month.

The grants come from Port Host Community Revitalization Fund, which supports redeveloping dilapidated structures, improving maritime operations, expanding business opportunities, creating jobs and preventing environmental hazards.

The city of Norfolk will receive $785,000 in partnership with Fairwinds Landing. More than 71,000 square feet of “blighted structures” will be demolished to make way for a “world-class maritime operation and logistics center,” according to Youngkin’s office. The center will support offshore wind, defense and transportation industries.

“Transforming blighted structures will not only promote job growth, but will serve as a catalyst for new economic opportunities in these host port communities,” said Youngkin.

Portsmouth, in partnership with 16 Harper Avenue, will receive $415,000 to replace bulkhead at a waterfront industrial site. The project should help prevent erosion and runoff. The project is the third phase of an ongoing site improvement plan. The first phase was completed in 2019, with the second phase to be completed this year.

Newport News will receive $300,000 in partnership with 2295 Harbor Road. The project is part of an effort to revitalize the area by redeveloping the waterfront. The revitalization will include a new restaurant, hoping to spur new businesses.

“By investing in these projects through the Port Host Community Revitalization Fund, we are making strides to improve our infrastructure, our economy and the quality of life for Virginians,” said Youngkin.

The General Assembly approved the $1.5 million funding for the revitalization plan. The grants are part of a competitive application process. The grants are only available to Virginia’s five port host communities: Front Royal, Norfolk, Newport News, Richmond and Portsmouth.

For the projects to be approved, “applicants are required to provide a 100 percent (1:1) local match from private or public sources,” according to the guidelines stipulated by the PHCRF.

“The key to the Port Host Communities Revitalization Fund’s effectiveness is its flexibility,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “It allows us to address a range of needs with blighted structures in the port host communities, each with a unique market-driven purpose and route to revitalization.”


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