Governor Northam Announces Over $1.4 Million for Three Revitalization Projects in Wytheville, Warsaw and Vinton

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) awards for the towns of Vinton, Warsaw, and Wytheville, totaling more than $1.4 million. The IRF provides gap financing to leverage local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of deteriorated structures, creating a catalyst for long-term employment opportunities and ongoing physical and economic revitalization.
“This funding will not only help transform deteriorating or unused structures, it will bring purpose and new opportunity to the surrounding communities,” saidGovernor Northam. “With these three projects, we are making important investments in our future. As we focus on recovering from the impacts of the pandemic, our administration remains focused on driving economic growth to every corner of the Commonwealth, especially in rural Virginia.”
Financial barriers often block the timely redevelopment of derelict structures, which require more than local resources to attract private-sector investment, and this is especially true in distressed commercial corridors. Eligible properties must be vacant and deteriorated and may be redeveloped for any market-driven purpose, including mixed-use, regardless of the original use.
Projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with an emphasis on those with a high level of blight, identification of impediments to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies, availability of matching resources, the level of community distress where the property is located, and an identified and feasible end use.
“These blighted buildings oftentimes reflect an economic downturn in the towns’ past, but through revitalization and redevelopment, the community is breathing new life into these neighborhoods,” saidSecretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “These projects align with the local and regional economic development goals and will leverage additional public and private investment in the towns receiving awards.”
Since 2012, IRF has funded 34 projects, which have generated over $121 million in public and private investment, and resulted in the creation of more than 485 jobs across the Commonwealth. For more information about the IRF program, visit

Millwald Theatre Restoration and Economic Revitalization Project

Town of Wytheville
The Town of Wytheville is rehabilitating the Millwald Theatre as a community auditorium for live and film entertainment, as well as a center for performing arts education. The IRF award will be used for demolition and new construction within the existing structure, a new HVAC system, new plumbing, new electrical upgrades, and architecture and engineering fees. The project is expected to create seven full-time and at least seven part-time jobs.