Reports

For the Record - December 2013

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SOUTHERN VIRGINIA

Danville Community College garnered six awards, including two each of first, second and third place awards, at the 2013 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations District II Medallion Awards competition held at Hilton Head Island, S.C. The annual awards were presented for outstanding achievement in marketing communications and honor the work of community college marketing and public relations professionals in the region. District II is made up of community and technical colleges in 11 states. (WorkItSoVa.com)

Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe said at an event in Norfolk that he would veto any legislation to facilitate uranium mining in Virginia. Mining interests have been trying for years to get a 31-year-old moratorium lifted so the ore can be mined from a rich uranium deposit in Pittsylvania County. The issue also has resonance in Hampton Roads, which draws drinking water from Lake Gaston, downstream from the uranium site. (The Virginian-Pilot)

The Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corp., a wholesale open-access network transport provider, completed a $20 million capital project to connect more than 120 K-12 schools in Southern Virginia. The completion of this project ensures that every school in Southern Virginia now has access to an advanced fiber optic network, achieving the mission of delivering robust, scalable band-width that can meet their needs now or 20 years from now.  (WorkItSoVa.com)

Pittsylvania County is applying for a $700,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development to install utilities for a prospective industry that would bring more than 100 jobs to the Dan River Region. Dubbed “Project Tire,” the endeavor would involve a tire-and-rubber recycling company with plans to construct a 40,000-45,000-square-foot building on a 20-acre site in Cane Creek Centre Industrial Park. (Danville Register & Bee)

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston has been awarded an $85,000 Rural Health Network Development Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant will be used to coordinate efforts of regional health-care providers as they consider community health-care needs and what this means for health-care-worker roles moving forward. (WorkItSoVa.com)

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

Roanoke-based Advance Auto Parts Inc. plans to buy auto parts retailer General Parts International Inc. (GPI) for $2.04 billion, setting the company up to become the largest auto parts retailer in North America. Raleigh-based GPI is a private distributor and supplier of equipment and aftermarket replacement products for commercial markets, operating under the Carquest and Worldpac brands. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in late 2013 or early 2014. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Bristol-based coal producer Alpha Natural Resources plans to eliminate about 230 positions throughout the company in the wake of continued financial losses. Company officials have developed a plan to reduce operating and support expenses by at least $200 million in 2014 and beyond. Most of the positions being cut are salaried and about 100 are already vacant and won’t be filled. (Bristol Herald Courier)

A study found that the Abingdon-based Barter Theatre has an economic impact of $34 million on its local economy. The report, completed in September, said the nonprofit theater supports 485 jobs. The Barter Theatre has an annual operating budget of more than $6 million. The impact study was prepared by Stephen Powell, CEO of Destination Services LLC; Berkeley Young, president of Young Strategies; and Steve Morse, director of the Hospitality & Tourism Program at the College of Business, Western Carolina University. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Gov. Bob McDonnell announced two Virginia Enterprise Zone (VEZ) designations in Southwest Virginia: Scott County, and a joint zone including the city of Radford and Pulaski County. Each locality will use state and local enterprise zone incentives to create jobs, promote private investment and support the overall growth of the local economy. The program has supported more than $1 billion in investment and the creation of more than 40,000 jobs since 1995. (News release)

A New Jersey couple plan to upgrade Smith Mountain Lake Airport in Bedford County after buying the facility from Joseph Borgess. Two married aviation buffs who reside at a New Jersey air park paid about $1 million for the nearly 50-acre airport property, said Mark Dalton of Dalton & Co. Realtors in Lynchburg. Dalton declined to identify the couple and said they will own the airport through a limited liability company.  (The Roanoke Times)

SHENANDOAH VALLEY

Amherst Family Practice and Winchester Medical Consultants have created Integrated Physician Services. Although each practice retains its independence, location and patients, the organization is working on some added benefits for its patients, such as a system allowing patients to pay their bills online and download documents before arriving for a medical appointment. (Northern Virginia Daily)

Winchester-based Angle Valley Press, an independent publisher of books on the Civil War, has announced that it has partnered with Savas Beatie. Savas Beatie, which is a military and general history publishing company, has agreed to distribute titles by Angle Valley Press into non-book trade accounts within the U.S. and Canada.  (Northern Virginia Daily)

Washington, D.C.-based DBT-DATA completed the purchase of its fifth data center, the 13-acre Cyber Integration Center in Harrisonburg. DBT-DATA is a real estate investment and development firm that designs, constructs, owns and operates technology-related real estate properties. It has four data center properties in Ashburn, an area through which 60 percent of the nation’s Internet traffic travels on a daily basis. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

After reaching the halfway mark in September, construction on the Dominion Virginia Power plant in Warren County is steadily chugging along toward powering 325,000 Northern and Central Virginia homes with electricity in the fourth quarter of 2014. The 1,329 megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, located three miles north of Front Royal, is being constructed by a joint venture consisting of Zachry Industrial and Burns & McDonnell, and will be owned and operated by Dominion Virginia Power. (Northern Virginia Daily)

The Market Collective opened Oct. 4 in Luray and was scheduled to operate for three months. The market, created by the Luray Downtown Initiative (LDI), offers fresh produce and organic meats alongside locally made arts and crafts. LDI originated The Collective as a means to occupy vacant Main Street properties and revitalize downtown by attracting visitors during the busy autumn and holiday seasons. (Page News and Courier)

Harrisonburg-based RMH Healthcare is changing its name to reflect its ties with Sentara Healthcare, a Norfolk-based health system. The new name, Sentara RMH Medical Center, will take effect on Jan. 1. The change conforms to Sentara’s naming structure. RMH merged with Sentara in May 2011. As part of its merger agreement, the RMH board agreed to transition the hospital’s name over time. (VirginiaBusiness.com)


EASTERN VIRGINIA

The Breeden Co.’s  Cambria at Cornerstone has won a national housing award. The 420-unit apartment community in Virginia Beach is the first-ever recipient of the “Best Lifestyle Programming” award for a multifamily community award. It is a new category in the 2013 NAHB Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards given by the National Association of Home Builders. The Breeden Co. is a Virginia Beach-based multifamily and residential developer.  (News release)

Chelsea Business Association was formed in September to focus attention on branding and redeveloping the commercial district south of West Ghent in Norfolk. Twenty people representing 16 businesses are planning area events to promote the neighborhood. This district includes the Birch Bar, the new Smartmouth Brewing Co., Tortilla West and the New Leaf Florist, among other businesses. (TidewaterBiz.com)

Rieder Holdings, a New York real estate investment and management firm looking to expand its presence in Hampton Roads, has purchased the 224-unit Greenwich Village Apartments in Virginia Beach for $36.2 million, or about $162,000 per unit. The sellers were Harmony Investments Inc. and Spy Rock Development. Spy Rock, based in Richmond, is a regional developer and owner of several multifamily communities in Virginia. Harmony Investments in Virginia Beach has partnered with Spy Rock to develop multifamily properties in Hampton Roads. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Three Hampton Roads companies are among four in Virginia named to a list of the nation’s 100 best small publicly traded companies compiled by Forbes magazine. The companies are Toano-based Lumber Liquidators, Norfolk-based Portfolio Recovery Associates, Sterling-based Neustar and Hampton-based Measurement Specialties. Lumber Liquidators was ranked 17th, and Portfolio Recovery Associates was No. 18.  Neustar is 57th on the Forbes list. Measurement Specialties ranked No. 76. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Gov. Bob McDonnell says a $2.1 billion tunnel project in Hampton Roads will proceed in light of a Virginia Supreme Court ruling that allows tolls to pay for the work. In May, a lower court judge ruled unconstitutional an agreement between the state and a private company to use tolls to pay to expand the Midtown Tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth, refurbish the Downtown Tunnel between the two cities, and extend a connecting expressway between the tunnels.  (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Cvent, an expanding event management solutions company, is shifting its headquarters to a bigger space in Fairfax County. The move means the county will retain 451 local jobs and gain another 400 during the next three years. Cvent, which has operated in Virginia since 1999, will move into SAIC’s former headquarters building in Tysons Corner. Cvent’s current headquarters is in the same area, on Greensboro Drive in McLean. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Three medical facilities in King George County closed: the Gateway Medical Urgent Care center, King George Pediatrics and King George Medical Center. The facilities were owned by Dantra Healthcare Inc., which announced in October it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to restructure financially and develop a repayment plan for its creditors. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

Fairfax-based George Mason University will be home to a teaching center starting next summer. The Virginia Center for Excellence in Teaching will admit 100 teachers per year and guide them on topics such as instruction, education policy and leadership. Teachers must hold a five-year renewable Virginia license, be employed by a Virginia school division, have a minimum of five years of successful teaching experience and have a consistent record of effective instruction and demonstrated leadership ability. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Inova Health Care Services, a not-for-profit health-care system in Northern Virginia, has purchased an 8.7-acre tract of land and plans to build a Healthplex facility in Dulles. It will offer 24-hour health care, including physician offices and diagnostic imaging. The company that sold the land, Akridge and Soave Enterprises, said that the Healthplex will be an integral part of a larger mixed-use development, planned around multimodal transit opportunities that future adjacent Metrorail stations will create. The purchase price was not disclosed. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Loudoun County has emerged as one of the biggest data center hubs in the country. Riding the tremendous growth in cloud computing, the area around Ashburn now rivals Silicon Valley, the New York suburbs and the Dallas area in data storage prowess. There are more than 9 million square feet of data centers in Northern Virginia, including 5 million square feet in Loudoun County. Another 3 million square feet are planned or being developed in Loudoun. (The Washington Post)

Health insurer Cigna Corp. and Leesburg-based Loudoun Medical Group have launched an program aimed at improving the coordination of health care. The program is called “collaborative accountable care.” It represents Cigna’s approach to accomplishing the same health goals as accountable care organizations, or ACOs.  Under the ACO model, provider reimbursements are tied to trics on the quality of health care and reductions in the total cost of care for a population of patients. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Having completed two successful launches of its Antares rocket, Dulles-based Orbital Sciences can proceed as planned with eight more flights scheduled through 2016 as part of its $1.9 billion cargo resupply services contract with NASA. Its latest accomplishments position Orbital well to recompete for the next cargo resupply contract, which is expected in a year or two. (The Washington Post)

Santeon, a Reston-based technology company, has opened an office in Pune, India. The Pune office will act as an overflow facility for the development work being performed in Cairo, where Santeon also has an office. Santeon offers products and services to optimize federal and commercial enterprise performance. Besides Cairo, Pune and Reston, Santeon also has a location in Tampa, Fla. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Google Inc. will invest about $103 million in a California solar power project owned by Arlington-based Silver Ridge Power LLC. With the investment, Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., will become a partner in the 265.7 megawatt Mount Signal Solar project. The project is a utility-scale solar photovoltaic generating plant under construction in Imperial County, Calif. Solar is expected to be fully operational next year. It will sell its power to San Diego Gas & Electric Company under a long-term power purchase agreement. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Attendance at the State Fair of Virginia jumped 40 percent this year over last year’s numbers. Throughout the 10 days of the fair, 229,000 people turned out, said Greg Hicks, vice president of communications for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, which ran the event this year from Sept. 27 through Oct. 6. Last year, 160,000 people attended the fair, which has been held at The Meadow Event Park in Caroline County for the last five years, Hicks said. Before that, the Richmond Raceway Complex in Henrico hosted the event. (Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star)

CENTRAL VIRGINIA

Altria Group Inc. is giving the Science Museum of Virginia $1 million to expand its after-school learning program aimed at middle school students. The gift from the Henrico County-based company will help the museum advance its statewide outreach strategy to engage students in hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

The cable television network AMC is filming a Colonial-era spy series in Richmond that’s expected to have an economic impact of $45 million per season. The show, tentatively titled “Turn,” is based on the nonfiction book “Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring” by Alexander Rose. The story is centered on a band of young soldiers and civilians who were part of a spy ring that assisted George Washington and helped America to win the Revolutionary War. The show will premiere on AMC in 2014. (VirginiaBusiness.com)

Henrico County-based technology consulting firm CapTech opened a delivery center at its local office that could result in the company adding up to 100 jobs over 18 months. CapTech has about 430 employees now, including about 280 in Richmond. Sandy Williamson, the company’s chief executive officer, said it plans to hire at least an additional 50 people this year and continue growing next year. Williamson said the company expects to add jobs mainly in technical fields such as engineering, data analysis and project management. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

MeadWestvaco, a Richmond-based packaging giant, has signed a deal to sell all of its timberland — 501,000 acres in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia — for $934 million in cash and financing. About 125,000 acres are in Virginia. Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc., a timber real estate investment trust based in Seattle, will buy the forestland and associated wind and mineral assets. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Richmond-based leaf tobacco company Universal Corp. is expanding in Africa. The largest of the projects is in Mozambique, where the company will expand tobacco production and processing capabilities. The cost of the project is expected to run between $40 million and $45 million during the next two years. A new processing line is scheduled to begin operation next September. Other African projects involve efficiency improvements and equipment enhancements at facilities in Tanzania and Malawi. (VirginiaBusiness.com)


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