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$480,000 awarded for Cooks Corner revitalization project

Virginia Governor Ralph S. Northam announced July 31 that the Industrial Revitalization Fund (IRF) has awarded Middlesex County a grant in the amount of $480,000 for the Cooks Corner revitalization project, according to a press release from the Middlesex County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

The IRF grant program provides gap financing for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily for reuse of derelict buildings. The two vacant buildings that are targeted at Cooks Corner for redevelopment are the original St. Clare Walker School vocational building and the former Rappahannock Central Elementary School cafeteria.

The Middlesex County Economic Development Authority is working with a potential developer, Rappahannock Oyster Company that operates Merroir in Topping, to establish a micro-brewery, a pub restaurant and a special events center at Cooks Corner utilizing these two school buildings.

The maximum award for the IRF grant is $600,000. Seven applicants applied for more than $3.9 million in IRF funding from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Other awards went to the City of Newport News and City of Norton, each for $480,000.

A Vibrant Communities Initiative grant application has also been submitted by Middlesex County for $2.25 million for the Cooks Corner Revitalization project. Those awards should be announced soon. 

The Cooks Corner Revitalization project will be truly transformational, states the EDA press release. It includes workforce housing apartments, water and sewer infrastructure, a public nature trail, a brewpub restaurant, a special events center, renovations of the Parks and Recreation gymnasium and county offices. This economic revitalization will create jobs and additional tax revenue along with increasing the quality of life for our community, the EDA stated. 

posted 08.08.2018

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