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Cover Story


and maybe attract smaller projects but still meaningful jobs rather than drop- ping the megasite in the middle of a residential area where it doesn’t belong?” He also questions the premise


behind waiting for a dream company, noting that several Virginia megasites have been unoccupied for years. “And if that dream company doesn’t come, then what? They could reduce those proffers and attract someone who’s not so attrac- tive to the community.” But while the Chesterfield EDA


withdrew the rezoning request, it encouraged the board of supervisors to buy the property and discuss its possible uses with the community. The county is still pursuing construction of a road that would serve the site. Chesterfield supervisors are still


evaluating the property and its future use, a spokeswoman says. Louisa County also is pondering


the creation of a 1,430-acre megasite. The county has an option to purchase the property where it is conducting environmental studies. If Louisa moves forward, it would rezone the land and


Wade


begin developing a portion of it into a Tier IV site. The property would be developed in phases over 25 years. “There’s a need from market demand, and that’s why we want to develop the sites to as


close to shovel ready as possible to help fill that void,” says Andy Wade, Louisa’s economic development director. Initial discussions about the site


have met some resistance, but Louisa is finishing its studies and holding public meetings. Wade says the megasite would diversify the county’s tax base and sup- port its expected growth. “We’ve got to make informed, responsible decisions on how to combat a projected 10,000 popu- lation growth over the next 20 years,” says Wade. “I feel strongly this is a way to do that, with the revenues generated from a development such as this.” Chesapeake also is considering a


megasite. The city is debating whether to pur-


sue the first phase of a proposed 4,000- acre site located on the North Carolina


line. For the project to move forward, the city would need to amend its compre- hensive plan and rezone the property. While other Virginia localities


embark on megasite projects, Greens- ville’s Slate is confident that its invest- ments in MAMaC will pay off soon. Now that rights-of-way have been


obtained to supply the site with electric- ity and natural gas, she believes MAMaC is ready for a starring role. “We’ve seen additional interest,” she says. During the past few years, several


business prospects have given MAMaC serious looks. Among the past five prospects, the


average potential investment was $1.3 billion and the average potential employ- ment was 1,200 jobs, she says. Only one of those prospects needed


more than 500 acres at the 1,600-acre site. “So, we could feasibly put three businesses in that park that all have toward a $1 billion investment and 1,000 jobs each. It’s amazing what we have seen going through this process as far as clients,” says Slate. Fingers crossed.


LOCAL ROOTS, GLOBAL REACH


There are many reasons to put down roots in Isle of Wight, home of the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park •  





•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 


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