Waynesboro to Access Industrial Buildings, Revitalize Downtown

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

WAYNESBORO, Va. -- City leaders are working on a large revitalization effort.

Plans include improving Constitution park and a Streetscape project.

The city will use two-thirds of two $400,000 Brownfield grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, to access old industrial properties.

The properties that will be looked at are within the downtown area and along the East Main Street corridor.

It's a chance to see if the old industrial buildings have any left over hazardous materials or petroleum.

City Planner Michael Barnes said the goal is to show future developers that the property has been checked out.

If there are issues, the next step is finding a way to clean up the site for redevelopment.

The Casco cold storage plant is one example of a building that has the potential to be developed.

The owners worked with the planning commission and have determined the first floor could be for commercial development, while other floors could be transformed into apartments.

Barnes said the point of assessing other industrial buildings that don't have developers. is to remove some of the risk.

"I tell people like when I was a developer in the private sector working on subdivisions here in Waynesboro, we'd drive through downtown and we'd look and we're like..it's got possibilities but I don't want to be the first person in. You know, I don't want to be the first investor. And this is about trying to get enough going on and enough people participating and enough people coming down and using downtown that it doesn't seem to be as big a risk," said Barns.

On September 23rd, 24th and 26th the city will hold a Brownfield Charrette.

It is a design process to come up with a revitalization plan.

Barnes said they will use public input to help develop the blueprint.

After discussions, city leaders will create a concrete plan to present on September 26th.

If you'd like to be involved in the upcoming meetings, head over to the revitalization website for more information.

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