Company News For the Record

For the Record - June 2017

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EASTERN VIRGINIA
Mere months after ADP employees began moving into their new customer service center, developer Frank “Buddy” Gadams has sold the downtown property for $57 million. The price is thought to be the highest for an office building in Norfolk since the Great Recession. The building, nearly 288,700 square feet, was sold to RMR Group, a real estate investment trust based near Boston. The trust has more than 1,400 properties nationwide, including 48 in Virginia. (The Virginian-Pilot)

Global Technical Systems will expand operations of its Virginia Beach headquarters to allow production of composite electro-mechanical batteries. The production facility at 777 Seahawk Circle will increase by 8,000 square feet from its present 13,344 square feet. The company will invest $4.1 million in construction, furniture, fixtures, equipment, machinery and tools. Global Technical Systems also will create an additional 21 jobs at an average annual salary of $64,000. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

A Spanish biotech company, One Way Liver S.L. (OWL Metabolomics), plans to open its U.S. headquarters in the VABeachBio Accelerator in Virginia Beach as part of a strategic partnership with Sanyal Biotechnology. In turn, Sanyal Biotechnology will open its European headquarters under the auspices of OWL at its location in Bilbao, Spain.  The companies will share resources in their respective locations as they combine efforts serving their pharmaceutical clients. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Virginia Beach-based Optima Health is recruiting for 350 new staff positions throughout the commonwealth, including 170 in the Hampton Roads area. The new jobs are the result of a contract Optima recently signed with the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services. Optima Health Community Care will serve a portion of Virginia’s Medicaid recipients, including the elderly and disabled.   (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Portsmouth-based TowneBank plans to acquire Raleigh, N.C.- based Paragon Commercial Corp., the parent company of Paragon Commercial Bank, in a stock deal valued at $323.7 million. The combined bank is expected to have $9.7 billion in assets and total deposits of $7.5 billion. The Paragon acquisition would give TowneBank a presence in the Charlotte and Raleigh metro areas. The bank currently operates in Hampton Roads, the Richmond area and northeastern North Carolina. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SHENANDOAH VALLEY
A new National Park Service report says visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway spent more than $979 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 15,649 jobs in the region. The cumulative impact on the local economies was more than $1.34 billion. From Waynesboro to Waynesville, N.C., the Blue Ridge Parkway passes through 29 counties and villages, towns and cities in two states. The park's route is 469 miles. (The News Virginian)

Cadence Inc. announced that readers of Medical Design & Outsourcing magazine selected the company as a recipient of the 2016 Leadership in MedTech Award for Contract Manufacturing.  The industry recognition program acknowledges leadership across multiple disciplines. (News release)

Waynesboro’s small business development initiative, Grow Waynesboro, has been awarded $51,000 for startup businesses in a grant competition. Twenty-eight entrepreneurs participated in the contest. This marks the grant contest’s second year. This year’s competition was geared toward the downtown development and revitalization. The winners include: The Honey Exchange, receiving $18,000, Blue Oregano, $16,000, Chubina Boo Boutique, $9,000, and Memories by Valerie, $8,000. (News Leader)

Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel) is expanding its relationship with Sprint by adding 500,000 customers in the Cumberland, Md., and Parkersburg and Huntington, W.Va., areas. Shentel has agreed to invest approximately $32 million during the next three years to upgrade and expand the existing wireless network coverage in those regions. Once the expansion is completed, Shentel plans to open Sprint-branded stores in the new area. (Northern Virginia Daily)

Passenger service to Orlando, Fla., from Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport is proving to be popular. As a result, service will expand to four days a week by July. Currently, daily flights at Shenandoah Valley Regional to and from Orlando are available Wednesdays and Sundays. Airport Executive Director Greg Campbell said the flights offered by ViaAir will expand to Fridays in June and Mondays in July. (The News Virginian)
 

SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
The Brunswick County Board of Supervisors voted to join in a regional marketing plan recommended by the Virginia Growth Alliance, agreeing to pay $20,000 per year for three years to Retail Strategies. Jeff Reed, executive director of Virginia Growth Alliance, said, if hired, Retail Strategies will evaluate Brunswick County and make recommendations on what companies will be best suited for the area. (Brunswick Times-Gazette)

CML Logistics is set to bring up to 15 new jobs to Prince Edward County. The plastic scrap recovery company plans to establish an operation in the county. CML Logistics buys and sells plastic scrap for reuse. It will be located in the former Carbone building on Industrial Park Road. (The Farmville Herald) 

In April, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and his wife, Dorothy, grabbed shovels and turned dirt for the groundbreaking of a water spray/splash park at Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville, on the shores of Buggs Island Lake. Occoneechee’s spray park will be the second such attraction inside a Virginia state park. When completed, it will have more than 25 water features. The opening is set for spring 2018. (SoVaNow.com)  

A proposed $23.6 million budget for the coming year in South Hill calls for adding a 30-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes and increasing in-town water and sewer rates by 45 cents for each 1,000 gallons used. The town must have a new budget in place by the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.  All other town taxes remain unchanged under the proposed budget. While new to South Hill, local cigarette sales taxes are currently levied by two counties, 30 cities and 59 towns in Virginia. Tax rates charged by towns generally range from 28 cents to 47 cents per pack. (Mecklenburg Sun)

VCU Health Community Memorial Hospital in South Hill is one of 460 hospitals nationwide — and 21 in Virginia — to receive the 2017 Patient Safety Excellence Award from Healthgrades. It measures how well hospitals prevent injuries, infections and other serious conditions. Healthgrades analyzes inpatient data for Medicare patients collected for 14 patient safety indicators over a period of three years, 2013-15, in the latest ranking. (Mecklenburg Sun)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
Bristol will soon embark on a study intended to someday lure Amtrak passenger service to the Twin City. Bristol will work with the Community Transportation Association of America, a Washington D.C.-based organization, to secure a firm to conduct the $450,000 economic benefit study about extending service from Roanoke to Bristol. Amtrak is expected to begin providing rail service from Lynchburg to Roanoke later this year. “We’re just about ready to prepare the RFP [request for proposals] for that study, and hopefully it will begin this summer,” CTAA spokesman Rich Sampson said in April. (Bristol Herald Courier) 

The citizens group Friends of Abingdon is asking the Virginia Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision allowing plans for a Food City grocery store, retail center and youth sports complex near Interstate 81’s Exit 17 to proceed. Friends of Abingdon opposes the development. A petition filed by the group’s attorney in April challenges a Washington County Circuit Court ruling that allowed a rezoning order to stand. Town leaders rezoned a 73-acre tract to accommodate the project. (Bristol Herald Courier) 

Hobby Lobby has pulled plans to open a store in Bristol. Bob Miller, spokesman for the national arts and crafts retailer, said in an emailed statement that Hobby Lobby’s “real estate department has realigned their plan” to open a location in the area. The company previously announced plans to open a 55,000-square-foot store with an opening date of summer 2018. The company did not reveal the site for the store. Miller said the company still wants to open in the area and that officials are “continuing to work hard to get a store, but do not at this time, have anything definite.” (Bristol Herald Courier) 

Savage, a Salt Lake City-based supply-chain solutions company, has purchased Gobco LLC and Power Fuels LLC. Abingdon-based Gobco specializes in the removal of waste coal piles from abandoned mines and restoration of land, streams and forests. The waste coal, known as gob, is separated from rock and transported by truck to the Power Fuels terminal in St. Paul. There the gob is blended with coal and used to generate electricity at Dominion Virginia Power’s Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

Universal Companies, a supplier of spa products, will invest $1.5 million to expand its distribution operation in Washington County, officials announced in April. Virginia competed against Tennessee for the project, which will create 30 jobs. Founded in 1982, Universal has more than 30,000 customers around the world. Universal also offers advanced education in the spa and wellness industries. (Bristol Herald Courier) 

The Wythe-Bland Foundation recently made changes to its mission and vision statements that will allow the organization to allot grants to more nonprofit organizations. According to Travis Jackson, the foundation’s executive director, there are 200 nonprofit organizations in Wythe County and 48 in Bland County. Since 2005, the Wythe-Bland Foundation has provided more than 336 grants totaling more than $26 million. (SWVAToday.com) 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Alorica announced plans to expand its workforce in Spotsylvania County by more than 200 employees. Operation site director Jason Campbell said a client recently expanded its contract with Alorica, driving the need for more customer service representatives locally. After the initial hiring push, the call center may add more employees, he said. To manage the growth in staff, Alorica has expanded its office in the Lee’s Hill area by 40,000 square feet. The company still has offices on the second floor of the building at 10300 Spotsylvania Ave. and has renovated the entire third floor to provide call-center facilities, employee services and training rooms. (The Free Lance-Star) 

Bloomberg BNA, a subsidiary of financial information company Bloomberg LP, will expand in Arlington County. The $5.5 million project will retain about 1,000 jobs and create up to 125 additional positions over three years. Bloomberg BNA, one of the top 10 largest private employers in Arlington, will consolidate operations now in Maryland at its Virginia facility. Bloomberg BNA provides legal, tax and compliance professionals with information, guidance and workflow solutions. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

Arlington-based government IT consultant Buchanan & Edwards Inc. has acquired Fairfax-based Reports and Requirements Co. LLC (R2C) for undisclosed terms, the first acquisition in the company’s history. Buchanan’s CEO Dennis Kelly said it planned to open an office in Chantilly, housing 25 to 30 employees, including some from R2C. The company didn’t disclose the exact address of the new spot. R2C is a federal consulting firm focused on national security markets. (Washington Business Journal) 

Arlington-based Graham Holdings Co. has sold its Kaplan University business to Purdue University for just $1. The deal will place the for-profit education system in a new nonprofit structure managed by Indiana-based Purdue. The nonprofit will pay Graham to operate Kaplan University under a 30-year contract, but the nonprofit has the option to buy out that contract after six years. Graham also will receive a share of the revenue generated from the new operation, but it’s too early to estimate how much that will be because it will be based on future revenue minus expenses. (Washington Business Journal) 

Falls Church-based Inova Health System is seeking permission to add at least 48 beds to its Women’s and Children’s Hospital building, which sits on the system’s flagship Inova Fairfax Hospital campus. The proposal calls for two new, 24-bed medical-surgical units to be built. If Inova wins approval for the expansion, construction is expected to begin July 1, 2018, with a target opening of July 2019. (Washington Business Journal) 

Lansdowne Resort has been sold to Hong Kong-based Dejia LLC for $133 million. The 296-room resort previously was owned by Bethesda, Md.-based LaSalle Hotel Properties. Sarah Crisafulli, Lansdowne’s area director of marketing and communications, said Destination Hotels is still managing and operating the resort. Troon Golf will continue overseeing the resort’s golf club. (Loudoun Times-Mirror)

Reston-based NCI Inc. CEO Paul Dillahay told analysts on an earnings call in April that the company is looking to recover millions of dollars allegedly embezzled from the firm. With the government IT firm having completed its internal investigation into Jon Frank, the company’s former controller, Dillahay said that NCI concluded that Frank allegedly embezzled $19.4 million in company funds from 2010 to 2017, which is the basis of a civil lawsuit NCI filed against Frank in February. There also is a criminal probe being conducted by federal investigators, Dillahay confirmed during the call. (Washington Business Journal) 

United Bankshares Inc. has completed its acquisition of Tysons Corner-based Cardinal Financial Corp. The deal, valued at $912 million when announced last year, is United’s 10th recent acquisition in the Washington, D.C., area.  Cardinal had $4.3 billion in assets, boosting United’s total assets to more than $19 billion. United has headquarters in Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, D.C. With the addition of Cardinal’s 22 banking locations, United now has 145 full-service offices in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and the District of Columbia. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
A BWX Technologies fuel facility in Campbell County received a clean bill of health from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in its biannual Licensee Performance Review. The review covered the period from Jan. 1, 2015 through Dec. 31, 2016, and studied areas such as safety operations, radiological controls and facility support. Over the course of the two-year inspection period, almost 3,000 hours of inspections were completed on operational safety, radioactive waste and transportation, emergency preparedness, nuclear critical safety and other areas. (The News & Advance) 

Dominion Energy Virginia executives rolled out a long-term energy plan in early May that would dramatically expand its use of solar power, shrinking the carbon footprint for customers and paving the way for extensive upgrades to the state’s energy grid.  With the installed cost of large-scale solar projects dropping by 50 percent during the past four years, solar is now more cost competitive with traditional forms of power generation. Dominion wants to capitalize on that trend by adding at least 3,200 megawatts of solar capacity by 2032 and at least 5,200 megawatts, cumulatively, of new solar generation by 2042. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

Legislators are beginning to express doubts about Virginia’s investment in a $2 billion recycled paper plant that has promised to bring 2,000 jobs to Chesterfield County, as policymakers expand their oversight of the state’s use of financial incentives to attract economic development. The news that Tranlin Inc. is delaying plans to build the plant on land a state grant helped finance has raised concerns among legislators about the $29.5 million package of incentives Virginia approved for the project. Legislators and economic development officials remain hopeful that the company will carry through with its plan to build the plant. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Straight Path Communications Inc. accepted a $3.1 billion bid from Verizon Communications Inc. in early May, ending a bidding war with AT&T for the Glen Allen-based company. Straight Path holds a portfolio of millimeter-wave (mmWave) spectrum, airwaves considered highly important in the development of fifth-generation (5G) wireless services. Verizon’s offer is worth $184 a share, more than $147 above the price that Straight Path’s stock was trading before it accepted $1.6 billion merger offer from AT&T on April 9. As part of its deal with Straight Path, Verizon will pay a termination fee of $38 million to AT&T. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY
Bad real estate-related loans have weakened Bank of Fincastle, which lost more than $10 million during 2016 and 2015, and it is rated one of the worst-performing banks in the state. But the bank CEO said he and members of the board are implementing a plan to turn things around. If the recent loss trends were to continue, regulators could be forced to close the bank before the end of the year, said George Morgan, who teaches finance at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin College of Business. The bank has several ways to avoid that, including finding someone to invest millions in new stock or lining up a buyer, Morgan said. (The Roanoke Times) 

Botetourt County has officially designated Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, regional tourism bureau, as its tourism marketing organization. The move comes after the Board of Supervisors increased the county’s lodging tax and designated that the revenue collected from hotels and motels go to Visit VBR. With the increased contribution — which amounts to $140,000 in the current budget year — Visit VBR will play a more visible role in Botetourt, establishing an office in the county economic development department. (The Roanoke Times) 

Oregon-based Deschutes Brewery plans to create a tasting room in downtown Roanoke. Last year, Deschutes, the nation’s fifth-largest craft brewer, announced it would build an East Coast brewery in Roanoke. The $85 million project is expected to create 108 jobs and produce 150,000 barrels of beer a year. The brewery is expected to open in 2021. In the meantime, Deschutes has leased 4,670 square feet at Market Station for a tasting room scheduled to open in August. (VirginiaBusiness.com) 

Phoenix Packaging Operations LLC, a container manufacturer for the global food and beverage industry, plans to expand its manufacturing operation in Pulaski County, creating 145 jobs. The company, a subsidiary of Colombia-based Grupo Phoenix, opened a manufacturing facility in Pulaski in 2010. This expansion, the company’s third at the facility, involves an expected investment of $48.7 million. Incentives for the project include a $600,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund and $1 million performance-based grant from the Virginia Investment Partnership program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)




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