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For the record - Hampton Roads

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Company makes bid to run ports
A Chicago-area development firm has proposed an estimated $8.9 billion, 60-year-deal to operate state-owned marine terminals in Hampton Roads, a move that would dramatically transform the container shipping business in the region.

CenterPoint Properties, a real estate firm, submitted a proposal to state Transportation Secretary Pierce Homer to buy the operating rights to shipping terminals in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News. The terminals have been controlled and operated mostly by the state for more than 30 years. Under the new deal, the state would still own the sites but lease them out long-term.

CenterPoint said the $8.9 billion deal — which includes debt payments to improve the terminals and additional payments to the state — will be paid over the 60-year stretch. That amount translates into $3.5 billion in 2009 dollars and accounts for future inflation, the firm’s officials said. (Daily Press)

S.B. Ballard Construction Co., of Virginia Beach, received a $14.1 million contract to build an experimental facility and supporting operations at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator in Newport News. The work will include a new 8,000-square-foot experimental hall and a 250-foot extension of the lab’s underground accelerator tunnel. The contract is part of a $310 million upgrade at the lab. (News release)

Smithfield Foods Inc., a Smithfield-based pork producer, announced plans to close six plants and cut 1,800 jobs. One of the facilities being closed is the original Smithfield Packing Co. plant. More than half of those workers will be offered jobs at a nearby plant, but 290 will have to transfer to North Carolina plants and another 340 will be laid off. The company cited pressure from high corn prices and turmoil in the financial markets for the move. (Virginian-Pilot)


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