$ 1 million Lilliston Building Grant will fund future economic projects for Onancock

January 10, 2023
Lilliston Building Onancock

Onancock has received a $1 million grant to rehabilitate the Lilliston Building, the largest, most centrally located and visibly blighted structure in the town’s downtown district.

The grant will also create a pool of funds that will serve as revolving low-interest loans to developers of other vacant, blighted commercially zoned properties within the town of Onancock.  Their renovation will be a catalyst for economic resurgence in the immediate area.

Governor Glenn Youngkin this week announced the funding award, which is part of more than $24.7 million invested in 22 industrial Revitalization Fund. Grants.  The program is targeted toward vacant non-residential, commercially zoned structures whose poor condition creates physical and economic blight to the surrounding area in which the structure is located.

The funds were obtained through a partnership between Onancock Main Street and the Town of Onancock.

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Onancock Main Street identified the IRF grant as the best source of funds to promote rehabilitation of the property, based on information gathered in a financial feasibility study of the Lilliston Building commissioned by  the Main Street group the year before.

Main Street also coordinated  the application process with the developer, Town and Department of Housing and Community Development of Va. The town will administer the funds perpetually.

“This grant is a major advancement  for downtown while improving the vibrancy and attractiveness of Onancock to residents and tourists,” said Matt Spuck,  Onancock Town Manager.  “It also demonstrates the power of a shared commitment between the Town and Onancock Main Street in achieving these goals.”

The Lilliston Building, which has been vacant for nearly two decades, will be renovated into a mixed-use structure with first floor commercial space and six residential units on the second. This project is viewed as a catalytic project for the downtown commercial district of Onancock,  creating  at least 20 new jobs.

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“The central location of this valuable and historic building in our downtown makes its restoration and return to use the lynchpin in any campaign for revitalization of our town”, said Janet Fosque,  president of Onancock Main Street.

The $1 million grant was made to the Town of Onancock which will provide a low-interest loan to the building’s developer.  The developer will repay the loan with 2.5% interest to the Town, which is required to use the repaid money to create a revolving loan fund available to developers of commercial projects  that fit the parameters  created by the Department of Housing and Community Development, including properties that are vacant, blighted, and whose restoration will be economically catalytic to the area.

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