Montgomery County enters into contract to buy land for expansion of corporate park

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Montgomery County wants to expand its Falling Branch Corporate Park. It announced Wednesday that its Economic Development Authority has entered into a contract with Cox Family Farms LLC to purchase 124 acres adjacent to the county’s corporate park at a cost of $2.5 million, or about $20,161 per acre.

The EDA has about 180 days to perform due diligence on the property. This includes a rezoning request as well as geotechnical and environmental studies. Rezoning applications with both Montgomery County and the town of Christiansburg were filed for the property on May 30, three days after the county entered into the purchase agreement. Before the expiration of the 180-day period, the EDA will decide whether to purchase the property and evaluate the expansion of utilities and a road.

“The Board of Supervisors is committed to keeping Montgomery County a growing and competitive area that continues to attract new businesses,” Chris Tuck, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors, said in a statement. “Acquiring this property is an important step in expanding our existing corporate park and a decision that will pay dividends in the future by providing the ground work to attract larger commercial businesses to the county.”

Currently, Falling Branch Corporate Park includes 175 acres, with 146 acres occupied by businesses that include Aeroprobe Corporate, Backcountry, Dish Network, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc. Inorganic Ventures, Polymer Solutions Inc. and PreStar Packaging. That leaves 29 acres divided into three separate lots available.

Currently, the county does not have any sites over 16 acres, which makes it difficult to attract prospective business in need of larger areas.

“Having a 100-plus acre site that’s ready for development will allow the vounty to compete for much larger projects. This will allow us to better market the county to attract a wider range of businesses to the New River Valley,” said Charlie Jewell, executive director, New River Valley Economic Development Alliance.

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