The most beautiful city in Virginia wins $300,000 to clean up and revitalize local industrial brownfields and vacant buildings

Many folks consider Staunton to be the most beautiful city in Virginia. I (Storm Cunningham) am certainly one of them. My favorite brewery there is Redbeard, in the West End of town.

So, I was happy to learn on May 13, 2021 that Staunton is receiving $300,000 to help assess, clean up and revitalize former industrial and commercial sites in the West End, turning them from problem properties to productive community use.

The grants will be awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The community-wide grant funds will be used to develop 10 Phase I and three Phase II environmental site assessments. Grant funds also will be used to support community engagement activities, including hosting four community meetings.

Assessment activities will focus on the West End of Staunton and the priority sites include the former Unifi Manufacturing site, the vacant Chestnut Hills Shopping Center, the National Biscuit Company (Nabisco) Warehouse, and the Rose Time Scrap and Metal Recycling facility.

Staunton’s West End has been an area of focus for the City for years now,” said Mayor Andrea Oakes.

The EPA Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grant will reinforce the established momentum, setting the stage to enhance economic development opportunities and quality of life,” she added.

The West End is the area that lies between Churchville Avenue on the north and Middlebrook Avenue on the south.

It is designated an Opportunity Zone, and a FEMA Flood Study was recently completed in the area.

Grant recipients are selected through a national competition.

All photos by Storm Cunningham.

Learn more about Brownfields Grants.

Learn more about EPA’s Brownfields Program.

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