Vacant Building May Get Back to Renovations With Help From City of Danville

Danville, VA - A building that has been vacant for years in downtown Danville may finally get renovated. Nearly two years ago, a group of investors announced they would fix up the former Dan River Research building, but not much has been done.Simply put, they have been delayed because of finances, but with an announcement from the city, they may finally be able to get to work on this long overdue project.Even without a sign of construction, there has been a lot of work going into renovating the former Dan River Research building."I don't think a week has gone by without something that I've been dealing with on this project," said Dr. Mark Hermann, President of River District Development, LLC.Hermann says since their announcement of the project nearly two years ago, they have only cleaned out the inside of the building. In that time, Hermann has also been trying to get funding to complete it."To be honest with you, I didn't expect it to take this long," said Hermann. Hermann tells us they have been waiting on new market tax credit money to get it going. Consultant with the Office of Economic Development Linwood Wright says they need more than $16 million."These kinds of projects are very expensive, very convoluted, very complicated, they take time," said Wright. Luckily, the city just received a $20 million federal tax credit. Wright says while he doesn't yet know how much, they plan on putting some of that money toward this building's completion."We do not want to use any more of our funds than we have to use to get that project closed and under way," said Wright. River District Development hopes to get some of that funding from other tax credits, aside from the city. Hermann says that could come soon and we could see visible changes to the building over the next few months.Hermann tells us they anticipate the project taking a year to complete once they get the funding, but they may have more work after that. When the group purchased the former Research building, they also got the option to buy the soon-to-be former Fire Station and the utilities building next door. If they decide to do that, the group can purchase those buildings to renovate for only $10 each.