DALEVILLE, Va. (August 23, 2016) – On the heels of recruiting high-profile manufacturers Eldor Corporation, Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits, and Deschutes Brewery to the Roanoke Region, officials today broke ground on a shell building — the future home for an advanced manufacturing operation bringing more high-paying jobs.
The building will sit on 22 acres in Botetourt Center at Greenfield and addresses a pressing need in the region – available building inventory. It is a joint project of the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation, the Roanoke Valley Development Corporation, and Botetourt County.
“A shell is basically four walls and a roof which gives a company a head start over a greenfield site and helps speed to market,” said Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership who brought together the partners in this project. “It will give us a competitive advantage and continue this year’s momentum.”
The building, the only one planned in the region, will be 100,000 square feet with room to at least double in size. The occupant will customize the interior to its specifications.
Developers are relying on the inquiry history of the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Virginia Department of Economic Development to create a facility that is currently unavailable and fits the widest range of occupants. “Three quarters of our inquiries are for existing buildings and we don’t have a deep inventory of modern facilities for high-tech advanced manufacturing,” said Doughty. “That is the case along the entire I-81 corridor.
“Along with Eldor and Ballast Point, this building will further establish Botetourt County and the Roanoke Region as a manufacturing center with good-paying jobs. It also shows that the bold decisions of the past, such as the development of Greenfield, can pay ongoing dividends to the county and its residents,” said Jack Leffel, chair of the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors.
The project was conceived more than two years ago and the site selected after proposals were solicited from jurisdictions in the Roanoke Valley. The project was delayed for several months for the relocation of historic buildings and for excavation of historical artifacts.
“We recognize the historical aspects of this site and ensured enough time was devoted to properly excavating the site and carefully removing artifacts that need to be protected,” said Gary Larrowe, Botetourt County administrator. “The protocol was as recommended by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and we’ve conducted an earnest effort to preserve the integrity of our past.”
“This is an opportunity to extend the string of successfully recruiting advanced manufacturing companies that rely on innovation and technology,” said Victor Iannello, chairman of the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation.
“The advantage we are creating by investing in new product will pay off with new business, strong wages, and high investment,” said Robert Archer, chairman of the Roanoke Valley Development Corporation.
The Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation and Roanoke Valley Development Corporation have a long history of key investments for economic development going back as far as the location of the General Electric Co. in Salem in 1953, the creation of the Jack C. Smith Industrial Park in 1988, and the development of Warehouse Row Business Center in Roanoke in 2003.
Hometown Bank is providing financing while local companies Balzer & Associates and Avis Construction lead the design and construction. Construction begins immediately and is expected to take about 10 months.
“We are now missing opportunities because we don’t have the product,” Doughty said. “This building will be very attractive to a manufacturer looking to take advantage of the Virginia Western Mechatronics Program, low costs of doing business, market access, and a very livable region.”