Create an Account - Increase your productivity, customize your experience, and engage in information you care about.
By Kattie Saunders, Project Manager for Pittsylvania County Economic Development
Pittsylvania County had a very strong year in Economic Development. Throughout the course of 2021, the County announced five projects; three were new companies coming to the area and two were expansions of existing companies. These projects totalled approximately $363 million in capital investments and 544 new jobs:
Walraven, Inc, a global installation company, made the announcement in June of 2021 that it would make an investment of $7.15 million and create 46 new jobs in the Cane Creek Centre.
Also in June of 2021, MEP, Ltd., a manufacturer of complex plastic and metal components for aerospace and defense segments, made an announcement that it would make an investment of $6.4 million and create 45 new jobs in the Cyber Park in Danville.
The biggest announcement this year was when Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, made its announcement in late August. The company announced that it would bring 376 new jobs and make an investment of $300 million with the development of a new 325,000 square foot facility located in the Cane Creek Centre. The plant is expected to start operations in early 2023.
It was very exciting to see Aerofarms, the upcoming world’s largest vertical farm, and Staunton River Plastics, manufacturer of plastics for the beauty and healthcare industry, break ground this year.
In 2019 Aerofarms announced it would invest $42 million and create 92 new jobs. In April of 2021, the Company broke ground on its 136,000 square foot indoor facility at the Cane Creek Centre.
In May of 2020 Staunton River Plastics announced it would invest $34 million and create 200 new jobs. In July of 2021, the Company broke ground on Phase I, which consists of a new 150,000 square foot facility at the Southern Virginia Multimodal Park in Hurt.
Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance (SVRA), have been working continuously on the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill. This Megasite is one of the largest on the East Coast. With rail, natural gas, terabyte speed broadband, electric, water, sewer, permitting, and zoning in place, the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill is in a league of its own.
The Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill is under active construction, and this is noticeable to anyone who drives along Berry Hill Rd. Appalachian Power is working to relocate a 2-mile-long portion of an electric transmission line to further enhance the site readiness of the property. In addition, Appalachian Power is also constructing the new redundant dual-feed 138kV transmission line and in-park substation, which will be in service by Q4 2022. This improvement will enable the Megasite to serve truly large power users while continuing to enhance the site compared to other competing sites and states. In addition, new branding for the Megasite is now complete, with new signs along the roadway as you enter and exit the Megasite.
Pittsylvania County applied for and received the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP) Grant in the amount of $1,312,400 for grading Lots 1 and 2 for a 50-acre pad. Pittsylvania County received the largest VBRSP Grant in Virginia.
In September of 2022 the four-lane connector road for the Megasite will go out for bid, and it is expected to be completed by mid-2025. This new main thoroughfare roadway will connect the Megasite to the Danville Expressway via the Oak Hill Farms interchange.
In addition to all the progress that is going on at the Megasite, Pittsylvania County, the City of Danville, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance are showing the Megasite to name-brand corporations frequently.
In 2021, Pittsylvania County had two companies that made announcements regarding expanding operations. First, Intertape Polymer, a packing products and systems company, made an announcement in January that the Company would expand its operations, investing $45 million and creating 50 additional jobs. Second, J&J Truck Sales made an announcement in March that the Company would be expanding by building a new 45,000 square-foot facility, creating 27 new jobs and making an investment of $5 million.
In 2020, many businesses were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help these businesses, Pittsylvania County’s Economic Development Department was able to assist 23 small businesses through a Small Business Assistance Grant. This grant was provided by a block grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Each business that was assisted was given up to $15,000 to help with rent and mortgage payments, the purchase of personal protection equipment, and retooling to allow for social distancing. The amount of funds disbursed to the 23 small businesses across Pittsylvania County totalled $193,245.49.