WISE, VA – MARCH 15, 2024 – Loan and grant funding to the Wise County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) totaling $1 million will assist with site development of the Wise County IDA’s Elam Farm property.

The VCEDA board has approved up to a $700,000 grant and a $300,000 loan to assist with the Phase One and Two development plans for the property which is comprised of some 203 acres adjacent to the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park in Wise County.

“VCEDA is pleased to assist the Wise County IDA in the Elam Farm property development,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “Once the work has been completed, Wise County will have a 65-acre shovel ready industrial site, giving the county and the Southwest Virginia e-Region a highly marketable site suitable for a variety of projects including advanced manufacturing or data center projects.”

In 2013 the VCEDA Board also approved an $834,250 loan to the IDA to purchase the property which has been identified for economic development and as an expansion to the technology park. The IDA is now in the process of developing the Elam Farm property. 

As part of a Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s (VEDP) Site Characterization process in 2019, the Lonesome Pine Regional Business and Technology Park was designated as a Tier 2 site. In April 2022, the IDA completed an update of its Master Plan for the tech park to include the Elam Farm site and completed the necessary planning and due diligence needed to elevate the site in the VEDP Business Ready Sites program.  The IDA also began the process of raising the funding to develop the Elam Farm site.  

To date, the IDA has also been successful in obtaining a $1.854 million award from the Virginia Department of Energy AMLER program, which combined with local funds, is being used for access road improvements and utility infrastructure extensions deemed as part of Phase One of the project.  For Phase Two of the Elam Farm site development, the IDA has obtained a federal HUD Community Development Grant in the amount of $1 million and a $750,000 grant from the VEDP Business Ready Sites Program.  According to the IDA, these funds will be used for site clearing and earthwork to develop a shovel-ready 65-acre industrial site that will be qualified as a Tier 4 Certified Site in the state’s program. 

Phase One of the development is underway and the design of Phase Two has now started and is expected to be completed within six months. Phase Two construction will begin soon thereafter. The up to $300,000 VCEDA loan will serve to provide cash flow to pay project invoices on a timely basis, since reimbursement from the state for the project is on a quarterly basis. The up to $700,000 VCEDA grant will provide additional funds needed for the Phase One site development.

“The multi-phase development of the Elam Farm site is a critical piece of the future growth and investment in Wise County,” said Wise County IDA Executive Director Brian Falin. “Once development is complete, this site will add a highly attractive and marketable 65-acre site to the Lonesome Pine Regional Business & Technology Park and will allow Wise County to be much more competitive for projects in our target sectors.

“This project will allow us to shorten our speed-to-business timeline from years to months which is critical for project competitiveness,” Falin added. “VCEDA has played an instrumental role in the development of this site, including the funds for original site acquisition in 2013 and now additional site development funds for both Phase 1 and 2 of the project. We are very grateful for the longstanding and continued support from VCEDA and look forward to great things to come for this site and Wise County.”

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.