Danville markets former mill site as technology park
- October 30, 2014
The 80-acre site that was once a center of textile manufacturing in Danville for more than 100 years is now primed to be a center of technology.
Dan River Technology Park, which includes several existing structures, has its own electrical substation, unlimited water supply and is hooked into nDanville’s high-capacity broadband services.
“It has unmatched electrical and fiber infrastructure,” says Telly Tucker, the city’s director of economic development. “The transferability capacity is one gig per second. We tested how quickly data could be sent from Danville versus Northern Virginia, and it was quicker from Danville.”
The city Industrial Development Authority owns the site, once home to Dan River Mills, and would like to sell or lease the property. It offers up to 1.9 million square feet for future development.
“All options are on the table, leasing, build-to-suit and land lease as well as selling,” says Tucker. “We will consider selling to one user or multiple users. That’s one of our options. We have so much flexibility with this site because of the infrastructure.”
One option for the site would be a data center. The city, which is known as an established technology location, is home to the first Cray XMT2 supercomputer located outside a government agency or university campus.
Because it is located on a different power grid than most facilities, Danville is a strategic disaster recovery location for major cities on the East Coast. That helps it avoid problems with blackouts or brownouts. “It’s also more than four and a half hours from Washington, D.C., so it’s out of the threat of terrorism to D.C.,” Tucker says.
Danville is marketing the site to domestic and international companies.
“We’ve been marketing it for a few months,” Tucker says. “We have seen some interest. Several prospects have called, and some have taken site visits. If we can land an anchor tenant, it will be more attractive to other tenants. We probably have a higher likelihood of multiple companies coming in and having a multi-tenant facility.”