Supervisors get update on economic development; A number of projects are underway or in planning

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The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors heard an update from the Economic Development Department during their July 28 meeting.

Economic Development Director Garrett Hart noted that the county’s unemployment rate has fallen from a recent high of 10.7 percent in April 2020 to 3.7 percent this past April.

There were 7,799 open employee positions advertised as of July 28, Hart said.

Capital One is expanding by 200,000 square feet in the Meadowville development, Jake Elder, the department’s small business assistant, said.

In addition, Red Rock Developments of Columbia, S.C., recently began building a 353,044-square-foot speculative building in Meadowville Technology Park, Elder said. It will be located on 54 acres west of the Niagara bottling plant and Amazon fulfillment center.

Aldora, a specialty glass company, plans to open a 81,000-square-foot facility at 16301 Walthall Industrial Parkway.

After halting its plans for a while, Carvana has begun site work on Woods Edge Road, where it plans to build a 190,000-square-foot facility.

Bissell recently completed a 200,000-square-foot expansion of its current facility in the James River Industrial Center.

Cinema Cafe opened in Chester in December, and Bon Secours plans to open a 25,000-square-foot emergency center across the street from the cinema at the entrance to The Jane at Moore’s Lake, Elder said.

Spring Hill Suites is in the process of building an 118-room facility at Interstate 95 and Route 10 with 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

Courthouse Landing has begun the site planning for a multi-use commercial and residential property on Route 288 and Route 10.

Separate from the Economic Development Department, Hart noted that the Economic Development Authority has helped provide debt financing to 130-some projects since its creation in 1969, including a $243 million investment in Meadowville.

Responding to a question from Supervisor Kevin Carroll (R-Matoaca), Hart said 640 acres acres remain undeveloped in Meadowville.

Karen Aylward, assistant economic development director, noted the department has five main functions, including attracting businesses, expanding and retaining businesses, small business advising and promotion, sports tourism and real estate development.

The presentation was made during the supervisors’ afternoon work session at the request of Supervisor Jim Ingle (R-Bermuda).

Toward the end of the evening meeting, the supervisors approved $68.5 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds and $51.4 million in federal Esser III funds for elementary and secondary schools.

Supervisor Chris Winslow (R-Clover Hill) noted that the state had a revenue surplus of $2.6 billion. Some who don’t get the county’s allocated funding might be able to get state funding, he said.

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