Botetourt County economic development officials welcomed Thursday’s announced state funding to enhance industrial site development at Greenfield.
Outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam announced the grant as part of a $7 million outlay to support Virginia industrial sites. Other regional grants from the program included funding for Franklin and Pulaski counties and Roanoke city.
The $362,700 from Virginia’s Economic Development Partnership’s Business Ready Sites Program will be used to prep a 121-acre lot for occupancy at the county’s industrial center park off U.S. 220 near Daleville.
“Having prepared and ready industrial sites is key to Botetourt County’s work to recruit future manufacturing employers to the community,” said a news release from the county.
“Speed to business is one of the first things prospective businesses inquire about when looking to expand,” said Franklin County Director of Economic Development Beth Simms.
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Botetourt County’s Department of Economic Development proposed using the state grant to update Greenfield’s environmental site assessment, surveying and related engineering studies, the news release said.
In addition, the grant will contribute to the construction of a sewer line, an access road and grading involving the vacant site, situated among the sprawling facility formally known as the Botetourt Center at Greenfield.
The gradually suburbanizing, yet primarily rural, county north of Roanoke considers Greenfield to be the keystone of its business and economic future.
“Since 2016, nine manufacturers have announced plans to locate or expand in Botetourt County, involving over 1,000 new jobs and over $200 million in taxable investments. These manufacturers include: Munters, Maag Gala, Metalsa, Pratt Industries, Altec Industries, Canatal Steel USA, Constellation Brands, Eldor Corporation, and Arkay,” the county news release said.
Botetourt County competed with 25 localities to receive a grant from the Business Ready Sites Program, the county said.
“The purpose of doing this work now is that it is essential to prepare industrial sites for companies seeking locations for expansion projects before these companies call us to talk about our available sites,” said Botetourt County Director of Economic Development Ken McFadyen.
“The larger the site, the better prepared we need to be when companies contact us,” he added,
“Communities with sites that are ready with all utilities in place and with at least grading plans are the ones that receive favorable attention from companies seeking locations for their expansion projects,” said Botetourt County Administrator Gary Larrowe.
Other grants announced Thursday from the state’s Business Ready Sites Program:
Franklin County, Summit View Business Park, $1,017,870
Pulaski County, New River Valley Commerce Park, $300,000
Roanoke County, Wood Haven Technology Park, $75,000