The Huntington Brownfields Innovation Zone (H-Biz) Plan is one of the components of the Huntington Innovation Project or HIP Plan which won the $3 million grand prize in the America’s Best Communities national competition. The winnings were awarded to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community as steward of the funds which are designated only for the HIP Plan projects. The ABC funds will be used to leverage other dollars to carry out this and the other HIP projects. To date, over $26,000,000 additional dollars have been leveraged for this project.
The H-Biz Plan is designed to acquire, remediate and redevelop over 50 acres of former industrial brownfields land between 5th Avenue and the Ohio River near 23rd Street. The redevelopment will be led by Huntington Municipal Development Authority (HMDA) and in partnership with Marshall University State of West Virginia, Huntington Area Development council (HADCO), Region 2 Planning and Development and private business. It will include research, advanced manufacturing facilities, athletic facilities and other amenities in a campus-like setting.
Key initiatives involve the following:
- Acquisition and clean-up of the ACF and Flint properties with adjacent properties being redeveloped privately. Applying for additional EPA grant funds
- New job creation and job retention for expanding businesses
- A redevelopment of the property to include a baseball stadium, academic facilities, faculty housing, research and advanced manufacturing facilities working symbiotically with Marshall University all in a walkable park/campus setting with connections to the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health (PATH)
- Re-designing streets within the development to create the most seamless movement possible while meshing with Marshall University and the Highlawn neighborhood.
- The development of streetscaping and traffic calming for 3rd Avenue and redeveloped street grids
Most Recent Progress
ACF Industries property
Huntington was awarded $600,000 dollars in EPA grants to do Phase I assessments on the property and to create an area-wide plan for redevelopment. The plan has been completed and assessments finalized. Huntington Municipal Development Authority (HMDA) has acquired the property and is now engaged in the environmental testing and remediation of the property including removing equipment and some structures. EPA has granted another $350,000 in assessment funds in 2020 along with $700,000 of loan/grant funds designated for clean-up.
Marshall University Baseball Stadium – Flint Property
HMDA and Marshall, with support from the ABC Fund of the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, and other financing, completed the acquisition of eight acres of the Flint site where Marshall University will build the baseball stadium. The goal of the MU baseball facility is to provide a home for Marshall Baseball, to enhance the player and fan experience and to meet the NCAA requirements for hosting regional and super-regional events. Plans include 3,500 seats including 500 club seats, locker rooms and a lounge in the team clubhouse, Coaches’ offices with a lounge, team merchandise store and concession stands. Environmental testing and remediation has begun. Construction drawings are complete and value engineering has begun.
The remaining Flint property on the south side of 5th Avenue has been purchased by a private entity for redevelopment.
Happy Healthy Highlawn
Happy Healthy Highlawn is one of the components of the Huntington Innovation Project or HIP Plan which won the $3 million grand prize in the America’s Best Communities national competition. The winnings were awarded to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community as steward of the funds which are designated only for the HIP Plan projects. The ABC funds will be used to leverage other dollars to carry out this and the other HIP projects. To date, over $82,000 additional dollars have been leveraged for this project.
The Highlawn Alliance was formed to serve as a catalyst for recreating and remarketing the Highlawn neighborhood as Happy Healthy Highlawn by leveraging community resources to help revitalize this distressed neighborhood.
Key Initiatives involve the following:
- Formation of the Highlawn Alliance
- Employ an individual to lead the initiative
- Develop safe routes to schools, bike paths and walkability
- Make fresh fruits and vegetables available for the neighborhood working with The Wild Ramp
- Prayer walks in the neighborhood
- Working in partnership with the City to enhance infrastructure including green stormwater management, pedestrian level lighting, etc.
- Improve education and job training
- Encourage initiatives and activities that lead to economic development
- Celebrate the history of Highlawn through beautification, art, and culture
- Empowering the neighborhood to help navigate and determine the future of their community
- Create a culture of trust and interdependence between residents, businesses, civic entities, non-profits, schools, hospital system, faith communities, and government entities.
- Work with local marketing agency on rebranding plan for the Highlawn community
Most Recent Progress
- Plans in place for a strategic planning session for the Highlawn Alliance
- Raised $50,000 and constructed a house for Habitat for Humanity
- Confirmed $30,000 from Park District to construct roof over McClelland park Picnic Shelter
- Progress on raising funds for the new school playground for Highlawn Elementary
- Reviewing Marshall University’s bike plan and working on integrating it into the Highlawn neighborhood
- Hosted Highlawn Thanksgiving worship service with over 200 in attendance and $1,000 raised for backpack ministry at Highlawn Elementary
- Launched the Highlawn Garden Club
- Identified location by the new school for an asphalt art project if grant funding becomes available.
- The Wild Ramp operating in summer months with a food truck in parking lots of neighborhood churches with volunteers
- Mobilized community around art through “street art” in the rise of COVID-19
- Provided a “Walking Holy Week” to promote spiritual and physical health during COVID-19
- Developing a plan for drive in movies to promote community building during social isolation
MOST RECENT PROGRESS
Happy Healthy Highlawn
The award money, as well as any funds donated from individuals/businesses/organizations, is given to the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, our region’s community foundation that controls the allocation of the funds to the projects as required by competition parameters.
Donations may also be made by check. Please make payable to The Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc. and mail to:
Foundation for the Tri-State Community, Inc.
916 5th Avenue, Suite 403
P.O. Box 7932
Huntington, WV 25779-7932
Please put "ABC Fund" as well as the specific project name in the memo line.