LVEDC Releases Video About Successful Redevelopment Efforts
By Colin McEvoy on November 11, 2016
Redevelopment is a priority in the Lehigh Valley because of the region’s economic history, and a new video commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) highlights efforts to bring formerly-used properties back to life.
The video focuses on the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative (LVLRI), LVEDC’s redevelopment program, an advisory committee of municipal officials, brownfield experts, consultants, and others that offer financial and technical assistance for redevelopment.
“This was an area built on industrial development and left behind from that are a lot of properties and a lot of buildings that are no longer being used,” LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham said in the video. “We’ve been very successful in getting those back into economic reuse and economic viability.”
Produced by the Emmy Award-winning FireRock Productions, the video discusses how LVLRI can assist with brownfield redevelopment, and highlights several redevelopment projects the program has assisted with, including the Coca-Cola Park, Simon Silk Mill, Allentown Metal Works, and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks.
Here is the direct link to the new entrepreneurship video on YouTube, which LVEDC encourages viewers to share and embed on their own websites or social media accounts.
“Having LVLRI and LVEDC on board, they’re able to ask the right questions to the right people to get us the answers we need in real-time,” said Mark Mulligan, CEO of VM Development Group.
“Our company does almost exclusively rehabilitations of existing sites, and those sites are the challenging sites,” Mulligan said. “LVLRI is the means to an end. They really support development in places where no one else will support development.”
The redevelopment video is the last in a series of six planned videos commissioned by LVEDC focused on the region’s four target sectors, entrepreneurial community, and redevelopment projects. Past videos focused on the region’s manufacturing, office, life science research, and food and beverage processing sectors, as well as its entrepreneurial community.
In the redevelopment video, Felicia Fred, Project Manager with the Brownfields & Land Revitalization Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discusses how LVEDC and LVLRI work together with the EPA to promote redevelopment.
“It’s an excellent partnership, she said. “We provide money to help them jump-start the redevelopment in their communities. The property is then attractive to a developer who would be interested in saying, ‘Hey we’re going to take this and develop it.’”
In addition to helping site owners and developers identify financial assistance for environmental assessment and remediation work at brownfield sites, LVLRI also assists on technical matters such as grant/loan application preparation, environmental work plan preparation, and the completion of buyer/seller agreements.
Over the last 15 years, LVLRI has seen 300 acres of contaminated land remediated, over $400 million of leveraged funding based on years of successful EPA grant wins, and the creation of about 1,200 jobs.
LVLRI is currently in the busiest year of its nearly two-decade history, working on 14 active projects in various stages, far more than the average of about a half-dozen from previous years. Last year, one of only 150 programs from around the world that was selected to present at last year’s National Brownfields Conference, from a highly competitive field of about 425 applicants.
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