Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development Wins Gold, Silver and Bronze International Economic Development Awards

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development received Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The honors were presented at an awards ceremony during the recent IEDC Annual Conference in Cleveland. IEDC's Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world's best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials and the year's most influential leaders. These awards honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban and rural communities.

Gold Award – 2015 Annual Report
The 2015 Virginia Beach Annual Report, titled "A Big Year in Numbers," highlighted key economic achievements and technology initiatives over that year. The report was designed to be both a promotional and informational piece, and 9,000 copies were distributed to the public through a targeted list of regional business professionals to increase awareness and build support for local and regional economic development. It is available on

Silver Award – Town Center for Multi-Year Economic Development Program
Since the groundbreaking in 2000, Town Center of Virginia Beach has emerged as the core of the Virginia Beach Central Business District, featuring a vibrant urban mix of Class A high-rise office space, upscale retail, luxury residential units and entertainment and cultural facilities. The project was established as a public-private partnership using Tax Increment Financing to support public facilities and infrastructure. Spanning 17 city blocks on 25 acres, it includes 815,000 square feet of office space, 19 restaurants, and 190,000 square feet of retail space, 804 residential units and more than 400 hotel rooms. Town Center generates $7.5 million annually in new tax revenue for the City and serves as a major employment and entertainment center. As of fall 2014, nearly $500 million had been invested, with a public/private investment ratio of 1:4.3.

It also has been the catalyst for significant redevelopment and reinvestment to the 50-year old Pembroke Mall located across the street, the first shopping mall in the MSA. Since 2011, more than $45 million has been reinvested in that property, including several new first-to-market retailers and restaurants.

Bronze Award – Special Purpose Website for VABeachBio is a one-stop shop for all information concerning the initiative to attract biomedical and life science businesses to the city and region. The initiative promotes the assets in the Princess Anne Commons corridor, home to a concentration of world-renowned bio and life science businesses and institutions of higher education. The site features news, resources, videos and links showcasing the biomedical industry strengths of the region. The initiative resulted from work accomplished by the Mayor's Bio Task Force, a group of key private, public and education leaders from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

"We continue to lead the way in best practices for economic development," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "We've received 13 awards from the International Economic Development Council since 2010. Our primary goal is to effectively communicate the benefits of doing business in Virginia Beach. The level of capital investment and job creation also indicate that our efforts are resonating with our target audiences."

"On behalf of the IEDC board of directors and Excellence in Economic Development Awards Advisory Committee, congratulations to the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development," said Barry Matherly, CEcD, FM, IEDC 2016 Board Chair, president & CEO of the Greater Richmond Partnership. "Not only did they work to provide a necessary service to their community, but also, their participation in the awards program sheds light on their stellar projects, which other communities can now use as a benchmark."

The International Economic Development Council is a nonprofit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,700 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. For more information, visit

The mission of the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development is to attract and retain national and international businesses to stimulate capital investment and create jobs. Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia with a population of 450,000, and it is the 37th largest in the United States. It is recognized as one of the Best Run Cities in America by 24/7 Wall St. The Department of Economic Development received re-accreditation through the International Economic Development Council in 2012 and is one of only 50 economic development organizations in the world to have this recognition. It is listed among the Top Five Overall Mid-sized American Cities of the Future, Top 10 for Economic Potential and Top Five for Infrastructure by fDi magazine. ranked Virginia Beach as the Easiest Place to Start a Business and the 2nd Most Business-Friendly City in the country. For more information, visit

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