BLUEFIELD — An official of the City of Bluefield has been honored by a state organization for his achievements.
Jim Spencer, the city’s economic and community development director and director of the Bluefields Economic Development Authority (BEDA), was awarded the 2022 WV Brownfield Award in Economic Development.
This award recognizes a project or community partner who has demonstrated economic development excellence at one or more brownfield sites.
Spencer was recognized for his many accomplishments, including the Bluefield Commercialization Station, an incubator for manufacturing initiatives created with the $2 million EDA POWER grant.
He also won a $2 million grant to develop Interstate 77 Exit 1, which would allow Omnis Building Technologies to locate there, resulting in a $40 million investment and a $150 million investment. ~ 300 jobs have been created.
“I am very honored to be accepted into Morgantown’s West Virginia Brownfield program,” he said.
Spencer was presented with the award by George Carrico of the Brownfield Assistance Center at Marshall University and Carrie M. Staton of the West Virginia University Center.
Spencer also helped Bluefield obtain a Brownfields Coalition Assessment grant from the EPA. This grant was used to evaluate 17 sites in the city, many of which have been rehabilitated.
One of the projects, the Hawley Building, is now home to the Bluestone Health Center after restoration.
400 blocks of downtown Bluefield have been selected for a Brownfield cleanup grant from the EPA.
Spencer said the award was specifically for the renovation of the Holy Building.
“It’s been very rewarding to see something transform from the (run-down) Hawley Building into a state-of-the-art, federally-certified medical clinic,” he said.
Spencer said Bluefield is “doing very well” with evaluation grants from several years ago, and the environment for 17 downtown businesses, including Holyville and Bullding, the former Summit Bank, now home to Intuit. linked to evaluation.
A block of dilapidated buildings on Bluefield Avenue was also demolished after evaluation to make way for the new Dollar General.
“We’ve had great success,” he said, adding that 400 blocks of buildings in the downtown area are now undergoing asbestos reductions through EPA grants, and that eventually some of them will be demolished. He added that the goal is to
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