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The original item was published from 3/1/2012 11:55:43 AM to 4/2/2012 12:05:02 AM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: March 1, 2012

[ARCHIVED] IDA purchases blighted River District building

The city of Danville announced today that the Industrial Development Authority of Danville (IDA) has purchased the former Wise-Hundley building on Main Street for $210,935. The blighted building stood vacant for years and had become an eyesore in the district, undermining the city’s current revitalization efforts and the future success of the district.

In an ongoing effort to partner with the city in implementing the River District Master Plan, the IDA continues to purchase strategic buildings in the River District. The goal is to gain control over key properties, make minimal upgrades and code related improvements, and get the buildings back into the hands of a private developer and back on the tax rolls.

“The former Wise-Hundley building was at the top of our list of potential properties because of its current state of disrepair and its overall negative image for the district,” said Richard Turner, chairman of the IDA. “This building is well suited for a mixed-use project featuring residential units on the top two floors with retail on the ground level. The IDA stands ready to assist the city in the transformation of this historic building.”

The IDA is currently working with the city of Danville’s Office of Economic Development in obtaining estimates for façade repairs. Work on the façade is expected to begin this spring. The IDA hopes that an improved Main Street appearance will make the building more attractive for a potential buyer.

Owned and operated for decades as Wise-Hundley Furniture Co., a metal façade was removed in 2008, revealing a portion of the original cast iron facade from what is the oldest, surviving Reconstruction-era storefront in downtown Danville.

Totaling 20,010 square feet, the building at 322 Main St. has one three-story section containing 7,560 square feet, a second three-story section with 8,050 square feet, and a storefront with 4,400 square feet.

In addition to the Wise-Hundley building, the IDA has purchased 13 additional downtown properties. To date, the IDA’s total investment in the River District exceeds $2.6 million.

230 Main St. 104 Colquhoun St.
310 Main St. 901 Fitzgerald St.
410 Main St. 525 Lynn St.
415 Main St. 321 Craghead St.
442 Main St. 512 Bridge St.
500 Main St. 527 Bridge St.
527 Main St.

“The timing is right for downtown,” said Anne Moore-Sparks, project manager for the Office of Economic Development. “In order for downtown to thrive, we need public-private partnerships, support from stakeholders, and an aggressive redevelopment strategy. I am thrilled that we finally have all of the tools in our toolbox to make it happen.”

Earlier this year, the IDA, the city, and the Downtown Danville Association celebrated the completion of a project that was a public-private partnership with Rehab Development of Winston-Salem, N.C. The project transformed the former Ferrell building at 533 Main St. from a vacant, blighted building into retail space and market-rate apartments. This project brought approximately $1 million in new investment into the district.

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