The Old Prices Fork School Community Revitalization Project has been awarded $2.5 million from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (VDHCD) Vibrant Communities Initiative.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced the funding at a news conference earlier today in Richmond. "By combining state and federal resources, this pilot program will serve as a foundation for future economic investments and local initiatives across Virginia as we continue to build our new Virginia economy," he said.
The VDHCD funds will be used in the project’s second phase to develop the Old School Food Center, including a commercial incubator kitchen, farm-to-table restaurant, retail market, craft brewery and business competition with support services. The funds also will be used to develop 16 new apartments with a mix of affordable and market rate units.
“The Old School Food Center will provide innovative economic development opportunities for new or expanding local food-based entrepreneurs,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Chris Tuck. “In tandem with the commercial space supporting local entrepreneurs, the mixed income, multigenerational community will have access to fresh, homegrown local foods.”
“The project provides an exceptional opportunity to give new life to an existing landmark in historic Prices Fork,” said Kevin Byrd, Executive Director of the New River Valley Regional Commission. “The dynamic, multi-use village center will also help revitalize this rural agricultural community, and provide new resources and services that will strengthen and enrich the entire New River Valley.”
Montgomery County Administrator Craig Meadows added: “The Prices Fork project brings together diverse community partners to support affordable housing, economic development and local food for residents of the New River Valley.”
Montgomery County agreed to sell the 8.3 acres site at 4237 Prices Fork Road for $850,000 to Taylor Hollow Construction LLC in 2013. The project’s first phase, which is under way, is converting the classrooms of the former Prices Fork Elementary School into 16 two bedroom apartments, with 10 affordable and six market-rate units for people 55 and older.
The revitalization project has generated unprecedented collaboration among 21 non-profits, organizations, businesses and local governments that have lent their support to the effort and pledged their time and resources. The Appalachian Regional Commission also recently awarded a $500,000 grant for the project to the New River Valley Regional Commission.
News media contact:
Joe Fortier, Owner, Taylor Hollow Companies
Old Prices Fork School Community Revitalization Project Executive Committee (partial list)
• Kevin Byrd, Executive Director, New River Valley Regional Commission, (540) 639-9313 ext. 212, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Craig Meadows, County Administrator, Montgomery County, (540) 382-6954, email@example.com
• Eric Bucey, Executive Director, Beans & Rice, Old School Food Center Operator
(540) 577-6157, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Elisabeth Willis, Housing & Community Development Project Manager, New River Valley HOME Consortium, Affordable Housing Funder, 540-558-0798, email@example.com
• Mike Burton, Local Foods Consultant, (540) 250-0111, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Shaun Rai, Loan Officer, Virginia Community Capital, Project Lender 540-260-3507, email@example.com