City Center Business Improvement District Receives EDA Grant

Thursday, September 15, 2022

$130,000 Grant to Assist Strategic Planning Efforts

Charleston, West Virginia (September 14, 2022) – The Charleston City Center Business Improvement District (BID), in partnership with the Charleston Area Alliance, has been awarded a $130,000 Economic Development Administration (EDA) Grant to support the development of a Master Strategic Plan to assist with economic recovery and resiliency in the Downtown Opportunity Zone.

The EDA Grant will be matched by a $26,000 investment from the City Center BID. The project goals include an economic analysis for Downtown Charleston including real estate market trends, demographic trends, commercial leasing and economic impacts on employment, and revenue trends. Funding will also cover two feasibility analyses of development projects, preliminary designs for sustainable environment improvements, safety and security enhancements within the BID, and improved pedestrian access. Charleston Area Alliance is the fiscal agent and project director for this grant. The project will be completed in partnership with the City Center Business Improvement District and City of Charleston.

These efforts complement current and future Downtown Charleston developments including the proposed Capital Sports Center, Slack Plaza, City Center Station, and the University of Charleston Downtown Innovation Hub. Master Plan mapping will leverage ongoing investments such as improved downtown development opportunities, infrastructure enhancements, and small business support.

“The BID Board is thrilled to receive this EDA funding,” said Lewis Payne, President of the BID Board of Directors. “This grant award highlights the collaborative and action-oriented community found in Charleston. Through the work of our district property owners, businesses and partners, the BID is positioned to make substantial and invigorating investments in the downtown landscape.”

“The US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration’s investment in downtown Charleston comes at a very strategic time,” said Susie Salisbury, Charleston Area Alliance, VP of Community Development. “The economy is transitioning with downtown development opportunities, commercial and retail trends, launch of the City Center Business Improvement District and more. We are looking forward to leading this effort on behalf of the community and our partners.”

The City Center BID was formed by Charleston City Council in September 2021 and includes the six blocks surrounding City Center at Slack Plaza. The property owners within the district are assessed an annual fee based on lot size and building square footage. These funds are used to supplement public services, enhance economic vitality, and provide ambassador support for district businesses and property owners. The BID is managed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Mayor, with the approval of City Council. The City Center BID is supported by part-time staffing provided by the Charleston Area Alliance. More information about the BID and its Board can be found here.

The Charleston Area Alliance is a multi-faceted economic, business and community development organization as well as the largest regional Chamber of Commerce in West Virginia. The Alliance attracts and retains innovative industries and workforce, revitalizes urban spaces and improves Charleston, West Virginia and the Kanawha Valley through a unified mission and strategic goals. Learn more about Alliance programs and events at