Town of Pulaski Receives Community Economic Development Award

FROM PULASKI, VA – In Harrisonburg, the Virginia Economic Developers Association is invested in Virginia’s long-term economic growth. Founded in 1982, they’ve been working to change the economic landscape of Virginia, with the goal of seeing our state flourishing from one end to the other. The Town of Pulaski has been working diligently towards this goal and were honored [March 30th] by VEDA, who presented the town with the Community Economic Development Award.

The Community Economic Development Award is only presented to those localities who demonstrate a strong grasp on how to identify and use the economic opportunities of their region, and how to adapt existing infrastructure into a new economic plan. VEDA recognizes the Town of Pulaski’s efforts through several criteria, all of which come together to form a stronger community.

A large factor in the Town of Pulaski’s ability to adapt its infrastructure to new needs is the availability of U.S. EPA Brownfields grant funding. Through this funding, several sites in the town have been identified for planning and renovation to make way for new businesses to enter the market. Among these sites, there are plans for a boutique hotel and craft brewery in the historical Dalton building and plans to redevelop the former site of the General Chemical Company Foundry as a public recreation complex including a skate park and basketball courts. As of now though, the Jackson Park Inn is perhaps the most impressive newly renovated site, providing a modern, charming hotel and over 50 permanent jobs for the Town of Pulaski.

Since the Pulaski Brownfields grant program began in 2009, more than $10,000,000 of economic development capital investments have been brought into the town through companies buying space for new businesses, tourism destinations like the Jackson Park Inn and Gatewood Park, and community improvements. Along with the 50 aforementioned jobs brought by the Jackson Park Inn, these developments have brought over 100 jobs in total to the Town of Pulaski.

VEDA also recognized the town’s community organizations, in particular Friends of Peak Creek (FOPC). Recognized in 2013 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, their efforts have made Peak Creek a more beautiful addition to the town by preserving the environment through cleanup work and water monitoring.

Another boon to the town’s economy is Calfee Park, the home of the Pulaski Yankees and the 9th oldest ballpark in our country. Currently undergoing more renovations, over $3 million dollars were submitted by private investors in 2014 for an earlier upgrade. These changes and those currently ongoing have arguably transformed Calfee Park into one of the nicest minor league parks in the country.

In addition, there are plans in the works for further improvements along Peak Creek to provide more recreational activities, including fishing piers and small parks. These changes should also increase economic activity on Main Street through the addition of a urban trail connecting to Peak Creek.

There’s no doubt that the Town of Pulaski will continue its current trend of outstanding economic growth, with so much in the works now and surely even more to come in the future. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store!

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Downtown Pulaski, VA Street Sign

Bringing Downtown Pulaski Back to Life

Downtown Pulaski is on the up and up. The gorgeous, historic main street is about to experience some major upgrades.

The “Pilot Project” by West Main Development is now underway.

This project represents over $2.5 million of investment from the West Main Development, LLC, Virginia Housing Development Authority, Department of Housing Community Development, First Bank and Trust, Virginia Community Capital, and other funding sources.

West Main has plans to start with a few major projects.

Downtown Pulaski VA, Crescent City Cafe

Crescent City Cafe will open in about eight months at the adjacent storefronts at 85 and 89 West Main Street. The New Orleans style restaurant will feature fresh beignets and a stage for live music. 87 West Main Street is above the cafe and will be turned into two, two-bedroom apartments.

At 94 West Main Street, the building’s ground floor will be a virtual reality venue that plans to attract local students and tourists. The second floor will also be turned into two apartments.

The project was officially announced at what organizers called a “sledge hammer and hard hat ceremony,” before an official ribbon cutting, which will occur when the businesses open.

The event was attended by many supporters who are excited to see what’s next for Downtown Pulaski, including Delegate Chris Hurst and representatives from the offices of Senator Kaine and Congressman Morgan Griffith.

All Speakers:

The ultimate goal is to fully bring the Town of Pulaski’s main street back to life; to make it the place to be.

###

Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Towns Voted Happiest in Blue Ridge

Date:  October 28, 2016

New River Valley, VA – This summer, five towns (technically four towns and one city) were voted to top spots in the Happiest Mountain Towns reader poll by Blue Ridge Country magazine.  Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Floyd, and Pulaski all received top honors in the magazine’s rankings which used quantitative data like unemployment rates and commute times as a baseline, but also accounted for readers’ passions for their hometowns.

The initial 96 towns were whittled down to 61 for readers to choose from, and the coverage area included the mountain regions of Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina.  Blue Ridge Country vetted the 61 initial choices by setting “minimum happiness-base standards” (i.e. a commute of <30 minutes, a below-average cost-of-living, unemployment rate below 10%, etc.), but then left the poll open for readers all over the nation to vote for their favorites.

In the 10,000-49,999 category, three New River Valley towns cracked the top twenty: Blacksburg (#6)Christiansburg (#17), and Radford (#18).  Blacksburg and Christiansburg, both located in Montgomery County, are strongly affiliated with Virginia Tech and the many companies that have spun-off from or located near the research university.  Radford, of course, is closely tied to Radford University and its award-winning business, nursing, education, and liberal arts programs.

All three places boast a low cost-of-living, easy accessibility to the outdoors (the 7-mile Huckleberry Trail connects Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the New River snakes its way along the edge of Radford’s downtown and campus corridor), and a strong arts community.

Floyd (#3) and Pulaski (#26) clinched a top spots in the <10,000 category.  Heralded by Southern Living as one of the South’s Best Small Towns, the top tier ranking is no surprise.  What Floyd lacks in numbers, it makes up for with style, small town charm, and impactful events.  Floyd’s innovative business climate offers start-ups, entrepreneurial ventures, and artisanal producers a welcoming place to do business.

Pulaski, a former furniture and textile manufacturing town, has undergone a massive revitalization initiative including the renovation of the Jackson Park Inn, clean-up of Peak Creek, and improvements to Calfee Park, the ninth oldest professional Minor League Baseball Park in use in America.  While many diverse manufacturing jobs still exist in Pulaski, other home-grown business are sprouting up and the town is working to attract a mix of industries.

Both towns offer unlimited outdoor recreation opportunities like paddleboarding the Little River, biking the New River Trail State Park, or hiking the region’s trails.  They also both promote large community farmers markets and music-oriented events like the Floyd County Store Friday Night Jamboree.

To learn more about the poll, its methodology, and to see how the New River Valley stacks up, visit Blue Ridge Country.