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Prospect activity increases in Halifax County

Prospect activity for businesses seeking to locate in Halifax County is increasing, according to Halifax County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Matt Leonard.

That was the message he delivered earlier this month to members of the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority’s properties and prospects committee during a meeting at Riverstone.

Comprising the committee are Chairman Chris Lumsden, Garland Ricketts, Mattie Cowan and ex-officio member John Cannon.

In addition to seeing an increase in prospect activity, Leonard reported the marketing plan is still in draft form, and the amount of reduced county funding in the 2014 fiscal year which begins Monday could change the level of effort for the plan.

Targeted prospective sectors for 2014 include aerospace, automotive, data/IT, firearms, life sciences and wood, Leonard said.

In addition to discussing future prospect activity, the committee also received updates on work underway at various county properties including Green View, Riverstone and Burlington sites.


Green View 

At Green View, phase II rehab continues as the contract for design work associated with the $1.5 million project has been signed by B&B Consultants, with Baskerville as a sub-consultant.

Leonard informed the committee he has spoken to Natural Gas Company about bringing gas to the Green View site (formerly Daystrom Furniture), and he received an estimated cost of $65,000 for Aid Construction based on estimated $4,000 monthly billings from the building for 15 years.

Once a decision is made concerning the gas line, Leonard said, it should take six to eight months to complete installation.

Separate metering would be provided to each leasable space, he added.

Jimmy Epps of B&B Consultants and Ray Trevillian with Baskerville also attended the committee meeting offering more information on the phase II rehab work underway at Green View.

Epps explained the IDA plans to go out for competitive bids soon for roofing work, then advertise for site and architectural and mechanical, electrical and plumbing separately from the roofing.

He anticipates roofing work will be complete by the end of August.

Epps said all construction should be complete by the end of December or first of January.

Trevillian presented a PowerPoint and explained the new floor plan and architecture layout for the Green View building. The building is divided up into 10 conceptual partitioned spaces.

The PowerPoint showed the proposed electrical distribution layout of the building, and he explained plans call for recreating a new front entrance area and adding 60 new parking spaces in the front of the building.


Riverstone Park

The authority continues to work with Dominion Power to plan a redundant permanent power feed to Riverstone that could allow it to become Dominion Data Center Certified and attract a data center. 

Leonard explained previous routes approaching Riverstone from the east and able to supply up to 30MW of power have run into significant environmental and easement concerns.

The executive director authorized Dominion to explore bringing in the same power from the west which appears to have less environmental and easement impacts.

Costs for these services are being paid through a Tobacco Commission grant, Leonard pointed out.


Riverstone Bulding One

Parking lot upgrades are complete at Riverstone Building One, and final payments are being processed and being paid through a Tobacco Commission grant.

All Elliott Electric’s construction work on the E-58 Room back-up power is complete. Currently the engineer is running signal waves from the main generator to the backup to make sure everything is working properly, Leonard explained, noting this work also is grant funded.

The authority presently is talking with various food service companies concerning the possibility of bringing some type of food service like a cafeteria style eatery to Riverstone, he told committee members.


Burlington property

Crutchfield and Associates received the contract and has completed the Survey and Wetlands Delineation for the Burlington property in the Town of Halifax.

They are currently providing additional surveying and are nearing completion. 

Costs for these projects, according to Leonard, are being paid through a Community Development Block Grant.