U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $4.5 million grant to the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority to rehabilitate a building and make other infrastructure improvements on former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads.
The EDA grant will support early-stage businesses focused on the visitor economy and is expected to create 134 jobs and spur $1.5 million in private investment. The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1.25 million in local funds, he said.
“The redevelopment of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station will bring businesses back to a vital waterfront area,” Ross said.
“This investment will rehabilitate Roosevelt Road’s Port Control Building for use as a multi-tenant, commercial space that will house early-stage tourism businesses,” said Dana Gartzke, performing the delegated duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
“The project will also improve streets and sidewalks to facilitate pedestrian and vehicle traffic between the commercial site and the ferry terminal, and the project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will encourage additional business development,” Gartzke said.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 in which Congress appropriated to EDA $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance Program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María, wildfires, and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
“As the island continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, we must take proactive measures to alleviate the economic damage caused by previous natural disasters,” Gov. Wanda Vázquez said.
“We will continue to work with the U.S. Department of Commerce to ensure a full recovery for the island,” she added.