CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center is quickly coming to fruition, as the city continues to secure funding for the $15 million project.

“We’re probably about 45 percent completed,” City Manager Martin Howe said. “We do anticipate the soft grand opening will happen in late spring 2018.”

Wednesday, the city of Clarksburg was presented a donation of $250,000 from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation to renovate and restore the historic downtown landmark.

“Dominion Energy continues to place a priority on giving-back and supporting this area,” Pipeline Operations Vice President Brian Sheppard said in a press release. “We also recognize what a historic landmark the Robinson Grand has been, and we want to ensure its success for generations to come.”

Earlier this month, city officials announced historic and new market tax credits that were awarded for the project during a Nov. 9 special meeting.

Howe said the net gain came to $6.5 million toward the project.

“It’s a $15 million project, so this automatically will reduce the amount of the takeout loan with USDA later in 2018 to under $10 million for the entire project,” he said. “This equity is a net benefit and a direct benefit to the citizens of Clarksburg, as well as the taxpayers.”

Achieving those funds was no easy task, as new market tax credits are extremely competitive.

“You have to bring on a partner with a community development entity who has received allocations from the U.S. Treasury Department, and we were fortunate enough to bring on two CDEs — one from Raleigh, North Carolina, and one from Roanoke, Virginia — who brought $10 million of allocations a piece, totaling $20 million in allocations during the project,” Howe said.

U.S. Bank then purchased the tax credits at 85 cents on the dollar, grossing about $6.6 million, creating an immeasurable opportunity for the city, Howe said.

“The ability to educate and to foster and build relationships with these two CDEs was over a two-year period, and it’s just great to see that in a competitive market, Clarksburg stands at the top to be able to be chosen by development entities who see the vision for the Robinson Grand and the asset it will be for the community as a whole,” he said.

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