The City of Lynchburg boasts two Enterprise Zones, providing investment incentives covering 4,200 acres of commercial property. In our Enterprise Zones, state and local incentives combine to support existing business expansion and new business relocation. Incentives include cash grants for real estate investments and job creation, along with local benefits for qualifying investments. Each July, we report out on the investment made in each zone for the previous calendar year, and look at any potential amendments to each zone. With the ups and downs of the last few years, our economic investment in the city has remained strong, and 2022 saw many significant projects, capital investment, job creation and improvements. Read on to learn more about the investments made in each zone.
Enterprise Zone 2
The City’s two Enterprise Zones, coupled with expanded small business financing continue to produce substantial results. In the past few years, the City has made several thousand additional acres of commercial property eligible for investment grants; in 2022, investments in commercial real estate were even more significant. Real Property Improvement Grants in the grant year 2022 of $352,306.32 leveraged private commercial property investments of more than $3.6 million in Zone 2. Also in 2022, finalized commercial building permits totaled more than $22,788,941 million in real property investment in the City’s Enterprise Zone 2. Downtown revitalization continues with 7 new businesses and more than 34 jobs created in the calendar year 2022.
Improvements were made in Biggers & Jefferson Parks with Community Development Block Grant funding. The upgrades included a new ADA ramp, a new playground, the addition of basketball courts, and a complete facelift for the Jefferson Park Community Center. Significant improvements were also made to City Hall. A new ADA Ramp was installed at the front doors, the main entrance was made more accessible/widened, and renovations to the first floor of City Hall were done to create a “one-stop” service center for citizens. Groundbreaking for a new police station in Enterprise Zone 2 took place in 2022. The new construction is a $50 million capital investment and is expected to be completed in 2024.
WoodSpring Suites has completed a 125-room hotel project in the City at 310 Border Street. The project consists of $8.5 million capital investment in real property improvement, $850,000 in furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and the creation of 13 new jobs. River Ridge continues the process of undergoing a complete renovation and has already added new stores, updated the existing facility, and had four projects in 2022 totaling $1.4 million. They plan to complete all projects by the end of 2023.
Enterprise Zone 46
In 2022, Real Property Improvement Grants of $100,000 leveraged private commercial property investments of more than $1 million in Enterprise Zone 46. Also in 2022, finalized commercial building permits totaled more than $13,764,019 in real property investment in the City’s Enterprise Zone 46.
Ivy Creek Park, located in Enterprise Zone #46, rebuilt the spillway for Clemmons Lake and installed solar panels on the Education Center, and created a solar power education display. This park is located in our Ivy Creek Innovation Center. Also located within the industrial park are developable sites. On January 16, 2023, The City of Lynchburg was awarded $261,750 towards site development for “Sites A & B” in the Ivy Creek Innovation Park, which are currently owned by the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg. In addressing the low inventory of business-ready sites within the City and region, the City of Lynchburg reviewed all sites owned publicly or by the Economic Development Authority, and determined these two sites to be the most viable and “prospect ready,” as these sites are within an existing, vibrant industrial park. The funding will help support a preliminary engineering report, boundary and topographic survey, environmental site assessment and preparation of construction and permit documents for road access, water lines and wastewater, advancing the sites from a Tier 2 project to a Tier 4 in Virginia’s industrial site characterization system.
“Ivy Creek Innovation Center is one of the City of Lynchburg’s top performing industrial parks. The park is home to major companies such as BWXT, Frito Lay, L3 Harris, Total Plastic Solutions and Boxley. With this grant, the City of Lynchburg’s Economic Development Authority has taken steps to ensure the park is a top priority for site development,” City of Lynchburg Director of Economic Development & Tourism, Marjette Upshur said.
On the local level, LYH also offers other incentive programs. The Local Redevelopment Program provides an investment overlay district that includes existing Enterprise Zone boundaries. Designed to support small business real property investments and expand real estate tax receipts for the city, the grant has been effective in incentivizing public-private partnerships and private investments. $148,250 was awarded to support 12 local businesses through the Local Redevelopment Program, creating 245 new jobs and leveraging $4.5 million in capital investments across the City.
The City of Lynchburg’s Brownfields Program helps attract new development and business to the city. The grant funds are deployed and leveraged throughout the community to maximize investments from others. The Brownfields grant program has spurred public and private investment in our community. In the fall of 2022, the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg (EDA) received a $500,000 Assessment and Planning Grant award from USEPA to perform environmental site assessments, cleanup, and redevelopment planning, among other efforts toward redevelopment of Brownfields in the City of Lynchburg. This is the 3rd such award to the EDA/City and a testament to the exceptional success of the program and the EPA’s and VDEQ’s recognition of it. The City has received over $1.2 Million in Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup and Redevelopment Planning Grants from EPA. The City has also received over $315,000 in Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup and Redevelopment Planning VBAF Grants from VEDP/DEQ.
The City of Lynchburg Real Estate Rehabilitation Program encourages the renovation of older structures and helps to revitalize commercial neighborhoods. In 2022, 94 properties in the Enterprise Zone are currently participating in the program, resulting in just over $920,537 million in improvements to the City’s tax base.
Through partnerships with VA CareerWorks, HumanKind, the Workforce Development Board, Beacon of Hope, Cloudfit Software and the Jubilee Center, we invested in local talent development. initiatives that included internship training in high demand fields such as cybersecurity and advanced manufacturing, introduced kids to STEM careers, and a sponsored a Women in Machining program that trained women in machining skills and matched them to jobs with local employers. In total, these programs impacted more than 100 local residents in 2022.
Investments in our city continue to spur continued economic development in 2023. Some of the projects mentioned will be completed this year, and we have new prospects and exciting things on the horizon for the upcoming year. LYH is breaking the mold when it comes to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and we can’t wait to share more!
To learn more, visit our incentives page, or contact Alisha Meador at email@example.com.