August 19, 2013

Virginia Downtown Development Association - Fostering Vibrant Economic Development in Historic Downtowns


The Virginia Downtown Development Association (VDDA) was established more than 30 years ago as an independent organization with the mission to “bring attention to the significance of historic downtowns to Virginia's economic vitality and to enhance the effectiveness of organizations, individuals and communities to foster vibrant economic development.”

VDDA provides valuable training and networking opportunities for developers who use VHDA financing for affordable housing and mixed-use development in downtown districts. Virginia’s downtowns play an important role in the economic health of their communities, and downtown redevelopment efforts offer new opportunities to add high-quality, affordable housing in those areas. VHDA is proud to be a long-term supporter of VDDA’s efforts.

Recently the VDDA presented its 28th Annual Awards of Excellence to recognize the achievements of organizations, individuals and government in meeting the challenges of downtown management and revitalization. Awards recipients included:
  • Award of Excellence - Organizational Development - Virginia SBDC Small Town & Merchant Program to Virginia SBDC
  • Award of Excellence – Commercial Revitalization Plans & Streetscapes – Downtown Master Plan & Big Glades Community Square to Hill Studio
  • Award of Merit – Commercial Revitalization Plans & Streetscapes –  Uptown Connection Park & Trail to City of Martinsville
  • Award of Excellence  – Commercial Revitalization Plans & Streetscapes – Downtown Commercial Facade Improvement Matching Grants Programs to Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority
  • Award of Excellence – Business Development, Promotion & Marketing – Pop Up Marion to Marion Downtown
  • Award of Excellence – Building Development and Improvements – Jefferson School City Center to Charlottesville Economic Development Authority
  • Award of Excellence – Building Development and Improvements – Cliff's Edge Lofts - Blair Godsey and George Stanley for Lynch's Landing
  • Award of Merit – Building Development and Improvements – Center in the Square to Brian Wishneff & Associates 
  • Award of Merit – Student Commercial Revitalization Plans and Streetscapes –  Downtown Development & Revitalization Plan – City of Hopewell to Garet S. Prior, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Award of Excellence – Student Commercial Revitalization Plans and Streetscapes –Engaging a Living History: A Corridor Improvement Plan for East Grace Street, Richmond to Emily E. Ruf, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Award of Excellence – Building Development and Improvements – First National Apartments to Commonwealth Architects
  • John Marlles Commitment Award – John Accordino, Ph.D., AICP –  Virginia Commonwealth University
As a membership organization, VDDA is able to provide more opportunities to its members as it grows in number. Members have access to training, resources and contacts that can be valuable in planning and implementing their own downtown development efforts.

I strongly encourage anyone with an interest in downtown development and the health of our downtowns to consider becoming a member and checking out some of the organization’s upcoming events. For more information on VDDA, you can call 804-754-4120 or email admin@downtownvirginia.org.

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