Company News For the Record

For the Record - October 2018

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SHENANDOAH VALLEY
InterChange Cold Storage LLC is building a 250,000-square-foot cold storage and freezing facility in Rockingham County. The $41.6 million investment is expected to create 88 jobs. The facility will provide warehousing to food and beverage manufacturers, as well as blast freezing for the poultry industry. InterChange Cold Storage is owned by Mount Crawford-based InterChange Group. Incentives include $300,000 from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund, $650,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Access Fund, $300,000 from Rockingham County for rail and road improvements and up to $44,000 from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Bolstered by an estate gift from Betty Coe Cinquegrana (’64) as well as a record year of annual giving, James Madison University received a record $21.4 million during fiscal year 2018 from private donors. The total represents the largest fundraising year in university history, surpassing the previous mark set in 2016 by $2.7 million. Annual giving to the university topped $6.3 million during the fiscal year. The $3.49 million Cinquegrana gift established an endowed chair for Ethics and Leadership in Business and a Presidential Chair for Teaching Excellence as well as additional funding for College of Education scholarships and entrepreneurship, ethics and leadership scholarships. (News release)

Elkhart, Ind.-based NIBCO Inc. plans to invest $14 million to update and expand operations in Augusta County. The project is expected to add 30 jobs. NIBCO has purchased a building in Buena Vista from STAG Industrial for $3.7 million, according to CBRE|Charlottesville. The 173,055-square-foot property, located at 3200 Green Forest Ave., was built in 1988, with 27,500 square feet added in 1996. NIBCO said it will add new equipment while updating its technology, training programs and new product development process. The plant’s 117 existing employees will be retrained on new technology. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport will receive two grants totaling $506,692 from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program. The first $232,632 grant will help conduct an environmental impact study of proposed projects identified on the airport’s layout plan and five-year capital improvement plan. The second grant, $274,060, will help reconstruct 40 of the existing airfield guidance sign fixtures. (News Leader)

Augusta County will gain a multimillion-dollar investment, thanks to funding from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program. Sumitomo Machinery Corporation of America will purchase new 10- and 20-ton overhead cranes, a new paint booth, a washer/deburrer, an automatic storage retrieval system and new assembly workstations, a release said. Sumitomo recently built a new 72,000-square-foot facility adjacent to its former Mill Place Commerce Park location that will serve as the corporation’s new Gearbox Center of Excellence. The company will receive funding from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP) to support the retraining of 34 existing employees on the new equipment, processes and certifications.

SOUTHERN VIRGINIA
Danville officials hope federally proposed legislation will make historic tax credits more attractive for developers, especially those looking to invest in the River District. Danville City Council unanimously voted in August to urge congressional representatives to support the bipartisan proposed Historic Tax Credit Enhancement Act of 2018. “If you look in our community, the historic tax credit has really been an advantage in our community,” Mayor Alonzo Jones said. “That’s why I voted for it.” Historic tax credits for redevelopment of old buildings help the city carry out one of its three priorities — growing Danville, Jones said. The other two are reducing violent crime and improving education. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is making progress on recruiting new stores and restaurants to the area. Those projects can’t be shared, however, according to one chamber official, because negotiations are ongoing. “I can assure you there are projects that are in the works, but I can’t give you a timeframe, because it’s unpredictable,” said Lisa Fultz, president of the chamber and executive director of the Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG). Last year, the group hired Retail Strategies of Birmingham, Ala., to help recruit companies, signing a three-year deal with the firm. That contract totals $120,000 ($40,000 per year) and is being funded by C-PEG, the city of Martinsville, Henry County, the Campbell Family Foundation and the George W. Lester Fund. (Martinsville Bulletin)

New degree and certificate programs underway and being developed for the new academic year at New College Institute provide students additional opportunities in engineering. NCI officials provided the institute’s board of directors an update on current and new programs at the board’s meeting in August. During the summer, James Madison University conducted industry focus groups at NCI to better understand regional workforce needs. This information is being used to create a survey that will go to Southern Virginia employers for feedback that will help inform James Madison University as it prepares programs in collaboration with NCI. (Martinsville Bulletin)

The Virginia Aviation Board has approved more than $6.4 million to go toward 30 improvement projects at 25 airports, including Danville Regional Airport. At the VAB meeting Aug. 17, it was announced that the airport could receive nearly $400,000 to improve the terminal apron, or tarmac. “The apron is in poor condition,” Mark Adelman, director of the airport, said. “It’s been 30 years since it’s been resurfaced, and its condition requires maintenance.” (Star-Tribune)

Groups supporting Virginia Uranium in its Supreme Court case state the commonwealth’s uranium mining ban undermines the federal government’s regulatory power over the nuclear industry. In a friend of the court brief, the Trump administration backed the petitioner’s claim that Virginia’s moratorium encroaches on the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 and the work of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The Supreme Court will hear the case on a state’s power to ban uranium mining on Nov. 5. (Danville Register & Bee)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA
Anthem Healthkeepers is re-entering 42 competition-starved local health insurance markets in Virginia in 2019, including Hampton Roads, the Peninsula and parts of rural Southside and the Piedmont. All but seven of those localities have only one carrier now, so the company’s re-entry lowers the percentage of Virginia’s 132 cities and counties with only one carrier from about 71 percent to 45 percent. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The Brink’s Co. has completed its $520 million acquisition of Dunbar Armored Inc., combining the nation’s second- and fourth-largest competitors by revenue in the cash management and secure logistics industry. Brink’s, which is based in Henrico County, first announced the acquisition in May. The company received regulatory clearance for the deal in early August. Both companies are known for operating armored-car fleets that transport cash and valuables. They also provide logistics services. Combined, the two companies are expected to exceed $1.1 billion in annual revenue in the U.S. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

After 10 years of planning, the circa-1905 Krise Building in downtown Lynchburg is finally on its way to becoming 21 New York-style luxury apartments with two penthouse suites overlooking iconic sites such as Monument Terrace, the James River and the former Lynchburg National Bank building on Main Street. Construction should take about a year. Developers hope to open in late summer 2019. (The News & Advance)

Henrico County-based Markel Corp. plans to acquire Bermuda-based Nephila Holdings Ltd., an insurance-linked securities manager. Nephila manages more than $12 billion in assets. After the acquisition is completed, Nephila will continue to operate as a separate business unit, with offices in Bermuda, San Francisco, Nashville, Tenn., and London. Markel is a financial holding company whose principal business is specialty insurance. (News release)

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) has awarded a six-year, $242.4 million IT contract to Unisys. Under the contract, Blue Bell, Pa.-based Unisys will provide server, storage and data-center services. VITA provides IT services to executive branch agencies and other government entities across the commonwealth. It is responsible for IT infrastructure, governance, procurement and security. The state is moving from a single-supplier, Northrop Grumman, under a long-term contract to an arrangement with many suppliers under shorter contracts. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

EASTERN VIRGINIA
Virginia Beach philanthropist Jane Batten is giving $10 million to the College of William & Mary to create an online learning center for its business school. As a result of the gift, the Raymond A. Mason School of Business is expected to increase its online graduate programs. The business school first offered an online MBA program more than four years ago. It added an online master’s degree in business analytics program this summer.  The business school expects to see a fourfold increase in its online offerings in coming years. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Dominion Energy is filing a request with the State Corporation Commission to build its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind demonstration project. The Richmond-based company is partnering with Ørsted, a Denmark-based energy company, to build the research project, which will include two, six-megawatt wind turbines located approximately 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. This project would be the first wind energy construction project in Virginia waters, located on 2,135 acres leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME). The project would provide critical permitting, construction and operational experience and could pave the way for 2,000 more megawatts of commercial energy use in a 112,000-acre wind-energy area Dominion currently leases. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Norfolk-based biotech company Embody is getting an additional $1.5 million from area investment groups to develop a cutting-edge treatment for tendon and ligament injuries. 757 Angels and the Center for Innovative Technology are the biggest of the latest investors, putting in $660,000 and $250,000, respectively. Embody is a startup looking to change the way soldiers and athletes heal from injuries. The company is developing treatments for tendon and ligament injuries through its expertise in biotechnology and advanced manufacturing, according to a news release. Embody hopes to use nano-fiber grafts to speed up and improve the body’s healing process, according to its website. The company plans to secure FDA approval and launch its first product in 2019, Embody CEO Jeff Conroy said in a news release. (Inside Business)

Newport News will receive $480,000 from the state to revitalize and preserve a vacant building at 2506 Jefferson Ave. and create a co-working space that will serve as a resource to local entrepreneurs and small businesses. Newport News was a recipient of an Industrial Revitalization Fund award, part of a program that helps finance construction projects, mainly in distressed communities. Plans call for the space to open in a little over a year. The work will renovate the interior — 5,419 square feet — and keep the character of the building from 1900. (Daily Press)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA
Accenture Federal Services will build a new data center for the  Library of Congress. Under a $27.3 million contract, Accenture Federal will develop a “vendor-agnostic” design for a new data center serving the world’s largest library and manage the procurement and configuration of its hardware and software. (Washington Business Journal)

C2 Technologies Inc. was selected as a subcontractor with The Boeing Co. to run the U.S. Air Force’s C-17 training systems in a contract worth about $986 million over 6½ years. For C2 (pronounced C-squared), the award means at least $100 million, making it the most significant contract to date and a new revenue stream for the business, said Curtis Cox, its co-founder and president. (Washington Business Journal)

Fairfax-based federal IT contractor CGI Federal Inc. opened its first innovation center in the D.C. area this month. The facility, located at Marymount University at Ballston Center, serves as a space for CGI and its federal clients to problem solve using the newest technology. (Washington Business Journal)

MAG Aerospace has moved its headquarters from Sterling to Fairfax. The company is investing $5.5 million in the expansion, which is expected to create 120 jobs. The company operates more than 200 manned and unmanned special mission aircraft on six continents. (Virginia Business.com)

A week after announcing its formal opening of a new headquarters in Fairfax, MAG Aerospace acquired Southern Maryland defense contractor Ausley Associates. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. More than 200 of Ausley Associates’ system engineering, program management and logistics professionals will join MAG’s team of unmanned aircraft and aviation experts. (Washington Business Journal)

Northern Virginia’s top elected officials said in August that they will ask the General Assembly to revise the landmark Metro funding deal to recover tens of millions of dollars for road projects — money that was diverted to the transit system. Officials say the money is needed to avoid slowing or killing projects to widen roads, upgrade intersections and support other transportation improvements in the traffic-choked Washington suburbs. (The Washington Post)

Micron Technology plans to invest $3 billion in expanding production at its Manassas semiconductor plant by 2030. The move is expected to create 1,100 additional jobs during the next 10 years. The plant now employs about 1,500 people. Micron is eligible to receive a state performance grant of $70 million for site preparation and facility costs. The grant is subject to approval by the Virginia General Assembly. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA
A majority of City Council and the president of the Chamber of Commerce said a resort casino would likely be welcome at the Bristol Mall. Owners of the vacant mall confirmed they are assessing the feasibility of establishing a resort casino inside the 450,000-square-foot facility on Gate City Highway. Such a move would require action by the Virginia General Assembly to legalize gaming facilities and approve the location. Members of the City Council said they don’t have much specific information about the plan but think it could be positive for the city, which struggles with voluminous debt and a significant portion of its population living at or below the poverty level. (Bristol Herald Courier)

BVU Authority customers will see a reduction in their electric rates starting in December. That marks the third reduction recently. In total, the authority’s board voted unanimously to decrease local revenue by $1.8 million. Nearly $1.2 million is a rate cut, and BVU will absorb another $555,000 from a Tennessee Valley Authority wholesale rate increase. Customers who use 1,000 kilowatt hours per month are expected to see a decrease of $58 a year each on their electric bills. The cuts are applied to volume use so a customer using 3,000 kilowatt hours per month will save about $126 per year. (Bristol Herald Courier)

The Chilhowie Town Council has approved construction of a farmers market shelter. The council accepted the $232,280 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It will be located at Warrior Park where the farmers market is held. The $300,000 value of the lot will serve as the town’s matching funds. The project must be complete next summer. (SWVAToday.com)

The Floyd County Board of Supervisors and its Economic Development Authority have instructed the county attorney and Thompson & Litton of Bristol to obtain bids for a $2.5 million contract to build a 20,000-square-foot shell building. The project would include a 1,000-square-foot lobby. The supervisors and EDA hope the project will attract a business. The new building would be designed for light manufacturing use and would be the second shell building in the Commerce Center. (SWVAToday.com)

The Healthy Appalachia Institute at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received funding for a pilot project to document how black lung disease and progressive massive fibrosis have impacted lives and communities in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. The funding for the oral history and photography project — “Drowning in Dust: The Burden of Black Lung Disease in Central Appalachia” — comes from the Central Appalachian Regional Education and Research Center at the University of Kentucky. The research project will document how people’s experience with black lung disease (also known as coal workers’ pneumoconiosis) aligns, supports, questions and challenges the existing data that shows a dramatic increase in black lung and progressive massive fibrosis in Appalachian coal miners. (News release)

ROANOKE/NEW RIVER VALLEY
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors approved a residential and commercial development along U.S. 220 in Daleville. Developers said they would begin construction immediately on Fieldstone Place. The 80-acre development will include commercial space, 288 apartment units, 34 town homes and 54 detached, single-family homes. In 2016, the county commissioned a housing study that identified a need for different housing types and price points to meet the current and future demands of the increasing workforce. (The Roanoke Times)

The Franklin County Board of Supervisors took steps to secure the funding needed to continue development at its business park. The board voted to authorize the issuance of up to $17.2 million in bond anticipation notes for work at Summit View. The notes will mature in 2023, at which point they will be converted into permanent borrowing. (The Roanoke Times)

The historic four-story Heironimus building at 401 Jefferson St. in downtown Roanoke is under contract to Chris Johnson and Tom Dickey, principals of The Monument Companies LLC, which is based in Richmond. They plan to transform the building into a residential and commercial property. The buyers plan to acquire the 110,000-square-foot property, which includes the main Heironimus building and three connected parcels, and develop about 25,000 square feet of commercial space and about 80 market-rate apartments, plus amenities including an on-site pool and fitness facilities. (The Roanoke Times)

Federal regulators are allowing construction to resume along most of the Mountain Valley Pipeline’s 303-mile route through West Virginia and Southwest Virginia. The authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission came less than a month after it issued a stop-work order for the project. (Roanoke Times)

Virginia Tech employees will get paid parental leave for eight weeks after the university’s board of visitors approved a resolution to enhance the benefit at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. The move comes in the wake of an executive order signed by Gov. Ralph Northam in June. The order calls for parental leave for two parents for eligible salaried employees in the event of a birth or adoption or foster placement of a child younger than 18. Tech’s policy goes one step further than the order by making a wider number of employees eligible than required. The university policy is now open to all employees, including both parents of a child. (Roanoke Times)




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