The first part of the mission is complete. Multiple sites for potential development have been identified thanks to the work of the multi-jurisdictional Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority.
Now the second phase of work begins for Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke counties, Roanoke, Salem, and Vinton as the Authority determines how to leverage any or all of these sites for economic growth. More than 50 percent of inquiries, according to Roanoke Regional Partnership data, are for single-user sites of 50+ acres and reasonably able to be developed. The current inventory of available sites is not in line with demand.
The Roanoke Regional Partnership is playing an active role guiding the Authority which is able to bring the governments together to share expenses for and revenues from new sites. The Partnership also applied for and received a grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Building Collaborative Communities program. The grant helped fund the work by Timmons Group that identified potential sites of 100-plus acres. The site locations remain confidential while the Authority continues its work.
According to Beth Doughty, administrator of the WVRIFA, next steps include putting together financial and participation models for acquiring and developing properties.