Staunton Hopes State Will Share Costs of Gateway Project
Staunton is ready to take another big step toward the Gateway project, the largest development in its history, and the Queen City is hoping the state will help share in the cost.
The 300-acre Gateway property is currently the home of Western State Hospital, but that facility will soon move into a new home.
Staunton's deal with the commonwealth allows it to turn the vacated land into a mixed-use development, perhaps including space for retail, offices, medical and residential.
A major access point is off Route 250, but right now it's a two-lane road that winds its way through the property. Staunton plans a nearly $2 million upgrade, and hopes the Virginia Department of Transportation Revenue Sharing Program will pick up half the cost.
The city will be ready to build the road sometime next year, but even if it does earn those state dollars, they won't be available until July 1.
"We just look at the level of demand from the potential business tenants, how soon they would like to be in the property," said Staunton Economic Development Director Bill Hamilton. "We'll balance that against the advantage of having state dollars to contribute to the budget. That'll tell us essentially how to go about it."
Staunton is in the final stages of designing infrastructure for the Gateway project. It will include a total of four entrances, two of them off North Frontier Drive.
Hamilton points out that revenue sharing is a competitive program, with many cities and counties seeking a piece of a $10 million pie. Staunton's application is due November 1.
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