The John Randolph Hotel redevelopment project received another boost this week when Governor Glenn Youngkin announced a series of grants from the Industrial Revitalization Fund.
The South Boston Industrial Development Authority will receive $3 million for the revitalization project for the historic John Randolph Hotel, located in the city’s central business district of South Boston.
The plan will transform the vacant structure into a modern boutique hotel with 30 rooms, a restaurant and a rooftop bar, according to the governor’s statement on Tuesday.
The project provides for the creation of 22 full-time and 20 part-time jobs.
The money is part of more than $24.7 million awarded statewide. The grants provide supplemental funding for construction projects aligned with local and regional economic development strategies, primarily in struggling communities, according to the governor’s press release.
“Transforming older, vacant or dilapidated structures into productive and usable spaces is crucial to catalyzing economic growth to create thriving communities,” Youngkin said in a statement. “The Industrial Revitalization Fund continues to be an important resource for these redevelopment efforts, driving regional partnerships, economic development and job growth across the Commonwealth.”
The Industrial Revitalization Fund leverages local and private resources to achieve market-driven redevelopment of vacant and deteriorated industrial and commercial properties, according to the release.
The South Boston Industrial Development Authority, at its August meeting, unanimously approved a resolution to request the $3 million.
The South Boston City Council also gave its approval to apply for the funding at its August 8 meeting.
Of the $3 million, $750,000 will be a “true grant” that redevelopers won’t have to repay to South Boston’s IDA, while $2.25 million will be a loan that redevelopers will have to repay over time. at IDA, South Boston City Manager Tom Raab explained in August. The IDA can then reinvest these funds in other local economic development projects.
The grant program is targeted toward vacant non-residential structures whose poor condition creates a physical and economic blight on the surrounding area in which the structure is located.
The South Boston grant was the third largest awarded on Tuesday behind a project in Winchester for $4.5 million and the iconic White Mill redevelopment in Danville, which received $5 million.
The governor said projects were reviewed and evaluated competitively, with a focus on those with a high level of degradation, identification of obstacles to economic development efforts, alignment with regional or local strategies , the availability of corresponding resources, the level of community distress where the property is located and an identified and feasible end use.
“These funded projects are transforming crumbling structures that impede future economic development efforts into small businesses, tourist destinations and sources of community pride,” said Commerce and Commerce Secretary Caren Merrick. “Through IRF grants, we are able to invest in both the infrastructure and vibrancy of Virginia by supporting impactful projects, fostering strategic collaborations, and fostering economic development efforts throughout the Commonwealth.”
The 22 awarded projects will create more than 600 jobs and leverage an additional $72.8 million in public and private investment, according to the press release.
Julian and Karie Brittano, redevelopers of the former John Randolph Hotel in downtown South Boston, recently announced that Choice Hotels will be the managing partner of their boutique hotel “The Rook of South Boston.”
The power couple’s announcement of the partnership with Choice Hotels was the final piece of the puzzle in the redevelopment project. In April, The Brittano Group, Inc. first announced a partnership with the City of South Boston to redevelop the former John Randolph Hotel at 327 Main St.
The ball started on the John Randolph Hotel redevelopment project when Raab met the Brittanos in September 2021, following an introduction from Brian Jackson, former director of workforce training for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. Previously, South Boston’s IDA purchased the property in 2011. More than $650,000 in grants had been received for the project: a $600,000 economic development grant from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and a Community Assistance Grant. Virginia Brownfields $50,000 to conduct environmental studies and address any environmental hazards at the hotel.