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EPA grant helping Roanoke redevelop industrial areas

The brownfields grant helps Roanoke prep properties for sale.

ROANOKE, Va. – The city of Roanoke has a new opportunity to grow.

Throughout the years, Roanoke has relied on brownfields grants through the EPA to spur economic development. And now with a $200,000 one on the way, the city is getting to work.

"We'll begin working right away, working with developers and we have consultants that we work with to help do these phase one and phase two site assessments that help developers invest in these properties in the city," said Wayne Leftwich, senior city planner. 

In Roanoke, brownfields grants are typically used to clean up and prep properties for purchase. Because of its history of industry, Roanoke has a lot of properties that need a lot of TLC to make sure they're safe and ready for a new use.

"A lot of key points within the city had industrial uses. So these assessment grants help us really do the groundwork to encourage people to reuse these properties and help revitalize some of these areas," said Leftwich. 

The city has used its most recent grants to clear the Deschutes Brewery's new location, Big Lick Brewing's new location downtown and the South Jefferson area revival, where Roanoke's Redevelopment and Housing Authority got in on the action.

"We did see incredible change with the South Jefferson redevelopment area. We worked with the city on that project and now that's going to be a thriving area with new jobs and new housing," said Frederick Gusler, director of redevelopment and revitalization.

In addition,  in southwest Virginia, the town of Bedford will be receiving a $300,000 grant and the town of Pulaski is getting a $200,000 grant.

New grants creating a new chapter for city properties.