Business news and intelligence for and about the Virginia business firstname.lastname@example.orgCopyright 20142014-11-20T21:05:00+00:00
Hanover Village stores relocating to make room for ALDI
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hanover-village-stores-relocating-to-make-room-for-aldi#When:21:05:00ZRetailers at Hanover Village in Mechanicsville are relocating to make way for ALDI, a German grocery store expected to open spring 2015. ALDI plans to take up to 15,750 square feet of space at the shopping center.
According to Regency Centers Corp., Benjamin Moore Paint Co. will move to an expanded 4,000 square-foot space adjacent to ALDI. Tuesday Morning will relocate to bigger digs within the shopping center, occupying almost 11,000 square feet. Anna’s Italian Restaurant and Insurance Doctor also are relocating within the center. Hanover Village is now 100 percent leased, according to Regency Centers, a national owner operator and developer of grocery-anchored shopping centers that's based out of Jacksonville, Fla.
In July, Aldi announced that the company planned multiple locations in the Richmond area, including the Hanover County site. The grocer now boasts more than 8,000 stores in the U.S. and abroad. According to Regency Centers, Aldi is known for its efficiency, selection and low cost.2014-11-20T21:05:00+00:00
Tech Mahindra to acquire McLean-based Lightbridge Communications for $240 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tech-mahindra-to-acquire-mclean-based-lightbridge-communications-for-240-mi#When:21:04:00ZTech Mahindra Ltd. plans to acquire McLean-based Lightbridge Communications Corp. for $240 million.
The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of Tech Mahindra’s 2015 fiscal year.
India-based Tech Mahindra specializes in digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering.
Lightbridge is one-of-the world’s largest independent providers of network engineering services to the telecommunications industry.
It has more than 5,000 employees working in more than 50 countries. Its annual revenues are more than $400 million.
The company has built 350 networks and designed more than 350,000 cell sites for over 400 customers.
Tech Mahindra is a $3.4 billion company with more than 95,300 professionals in 51 countries.
The company is part of the $16.5 billion Mahindra Group, which employs more than 180,000 people in over 100 countries. Mahindra operates the industries such as tractors, utility vehicles, information technology, financial services and vacation ownership.2014-11-20T21:04:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/antkowiak.jpg
Northrop Grumman promotes executive
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/northrop-grumman-promotes-executive#When:19:59:00ZNorthrop Grumman Corp. announced Thursday that Patrick M. Antkowiak has been promoted to corporate vice president and chief technology officer.
Antkowiak joined the Falls Church-based defense contractor in 1981. He has held a variety of positions in engineering, program management and product development. He has been vice president and general manager of the Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division in the Electronic Systems sector.
Antkowiak earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering frm the Johns Hopkins University and a master's degree in computer engineering from the University of Maryland. He has also completed the General Manager's Program at Harvard University.2014-11-20T19:59:00+00:00
Virginia Beach apartments sell for $33.6 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-beach-apartments-sell-for-33.6-million#When:19:24:00ZWoodshire Apartment Homes, a 288-unit garden-style apartment community in Virginia Beach, has sold for $33.6 million to an out-of-town buyer.
According to the mid-Atlantic office of ARA Real Estate Investment Services, Chandler Management Corp., a Newport News-based property management company, sold the property to the Bainbridge Cos. With offices in Bethesda, Md., and Wellington, Fla., Bainbridge is an owner, developer and manager of multifamily apartments in the Eastern U.S.
Brokering the deal for ARA Mid-Atlantic were Principals Mike Marshall and Drew White along with Richmond/Norfolk broker Wink Ewing.
Constructed in 1975, Woodshire apartments are located less than a mile from Interstate 264 and near the Virginia Beach Town Center.
“Woodshire is the latest in a recent trend of well-positioned B class properties slated for unit interior upgrades around the Hampton Roads MSA,” Ewing said in a statement.
“We have seen several properties near Virginia Beach Town Center have success with renovation programs, due to the ever-widening rent gap between class A and B apartments. The new owners should see excellent returns through focused capital improvements.”2014-11-20T19:24:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_10552.JPG
New Hilton Garden Inn will open in Roanoke County on Dec. 4
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/new-hilton-garden-inn-will-open-in-roanoke-county-on-dec.-4#When:18:28:00ZSmith/Packett, developers of the South Peak development in Southwest Roanoke, celebrated the completion of a new 117-room Hilton Garden Inn with a ribbon-cutting event today. It marks the next phase of a growing mixed-use Roanoke County community that includes condominium residences, home sites and future retail, restaurant and office space.
When the $15 million hotel opens Dec. 4, it will create 40 new jobs, according to Smith/Packett, which is based in Roanoke.
The hotel includes 2,800 square feet of conference space, a restaurant and lounge serving breakfast and dinner, fitness center, business center, outdoor terrace and pool.
The 80,000-square-foot hotel is the first commercial project under the newly created Community Development Authority, a public-private partnership created to facilitate development in the 60-acre South Peak community.
“This highly visible property is symbolic of our long-term vision to achieve something special on this mountain — a growing, diverse community moments away from both mountain adventures and city charm where people come to live, visit, shop, eat and work,” Hunter Smith, president of Smith/Packett, said in a statement.
The Hilton Garden Inn, operated by Concord Hospitality, is the Roanoke Valley’s newest hotel.
“Hilton Garden Inn is a sought-after brand for travelers looking for affordable but upscale accommodations. It’s an important addition to our tourism ecosystem and a very visible welcome to Roanoke County from two major roads,” said Hotel Manager Gary Crizer of Concord Hospitality.
South Peak is located on Route 220 at its intersection with 419.2014-11-20T18:28:00+00:00
Generational divide more perception than reality?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/generational-divide-more-perception-than-reality#When:22:06:00ZAge is less of a factor than widely thought when it comes to workplace preferences in the U.S., according to a new workplace strategy report by CBRE Group Inc.
The study, based on aggregated surveys from more than 5,500 office workers across numerous industries, found that while current assumptions about millennials are driving the design of many workplaces today, there is actually little difference in workplace preferences among millennials, Generation Xers and baby boomers.
“The results of this study clearly suggest that variety, choice, access and transparency—attributes typically associated with what millennials want—are indeed important, but not only for millennials,” Georgia Collins, CBRE’s senior managing director for Workplace Strategy, said in a statement. “Our study found that most of these attributes are equally important to Generation Xers and baby boomers."
Millennials (people born between 1981 and 1999) currently account for about 24 percent of the adult population in the U.S. and are projected to comprise the majority of the U.S. workforce by 2025. This demographic is causing many companies today to debate how to balance the needs of millennials with those of a more tenured workforce.
The CBRE study —Designing the Office of the Future? Don’t plan it around (what you think you know about) U.S. millennials—includes these findings:
· Millennials are collaborative—they report spending approximately 38 percent of their time interacting with others—but Gen Xers (people born between 1965 to 1980) and baby boomers (people born between 1946 to 1964) are equally as collaborative. In fact, millennials report spending slightly more time doing individual-focused work than their colleagues from other generations.
· When asked what types of spaces would enhance a future workplace, millennials placed the most value on spaces that allow them to think and concentrate, followed by spaces to meet and collaborate and then by spaces for learning and training. Of least importance to millennials was space for socializing (although they still rank this as considerably more important than do their Generation X and baby boomer colleagues).
· Contrary to widespread assumptions, when asked how they would like to work in the future, millennials said they’d like to spend more time connecting via email and more time in formal meetings—and less time on company-sponsored social networks.
“These findings suggest that instead of putting too much focus on designing the workplace around millennials, companies would yield better results by designing a well-balanced office that will accommodate the varied needs of different job functions and different preferences of individuals, independent of their age cohort,” said Collins.
James Cole elected chairman of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/james-cole-elected-chairman-of-the-virginia-hospital-healthcare-associ#When:21:51:00ZJames B. Cole, president and CEO of Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, has been elected chairman of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.
Cole succeeds John L. Fitzgerald, CEO of Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, who remains on the VHHA board of directors as immediate past chairman.
The chairman-elect is Mary N. Mannix, president and CEO of Augusta Health in Fishersville. Robert F. Carrel, president of the HCA Capital Division based in Richmond, is secretary/treasurer.
VHHA represents 110 hospitals and 35 health delivery systems in the commonwealth.2014-11-19T21:51:00+00:00
James Cole elected chairman of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/james-cole-elected-chairman-of-the-virginia-hospital-healthcare-association#When:21:47:00ZJames B. Cole, president and CEO of Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, has been elected chairman of the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association.
Cole succeeds John L. Fitzgerald, CEO of Inova Fair Oaks Hospital in Fairfax, who remains on the VHHA board of directors as immediate past chairman.
The chairman-elect is Mary N. Mannix, president and CEO of Augusta Health in Fishersville. Robert F. Carrel, president of the HCA Capital Division based in Richmond, is secretary/treasurer.
VHHA represents 110 hospitals and 35 health delivery systems in the commonwealth.2014-11-19T21:47:00+00:00
Mediation can help create consensus on a public-policy issues
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/mediation-can-help-create-consensus-on-a-public-policy-issues#When:21:35:00ZCan government be run more like a business? If so, could the legislature, local government officials and regulators produce a better product, in less time and with less stress and expense? Perhaps, but not by relying solely on current procedures. Rather Virginia’s elected officials should more frequently incorporate a supplemental process that resolves conflict and embraces consensus. Let me explain.
The legislative route by nature is deliberative. As befits a conservative view that the government that governs best, governs least, the path to passage of any bill contains many hurdles. Every subcommittee, committee and floor vote is an opportunity to kill a bill. If it survives that gauntlet, the governor can veto the bill or propose amendments, which legislators can accept or reject. Needless to say the system our founders established, with all good intentions, can be slow, expensive and often frustrating.
If legislation is viewed as a response to a problem, this problem-solving process needs repair.
There are a number of reasons. Legislators are part-time, citizen legislators and are not well paid for the amount of time expended in the job. Budgets have two-year horizons, making long-range planning difficult. Resources for studying complex issues are limited, and the volume of legislation considered in a 60- or 45-day session is voluminous. Businesspeople would never create such a forum within their businesses.
As but one example, the General Assembly took decades before enacting a new transportation-funding structure in 2013. It was not for lack of trying; while the delegates and senators were at an impasse, however, our roads and bridges crumbled as drivers fumed over bent wheel rims and traffic congestion.
In the Virginia judicial system, civil litigation also is deliberative by design. Disputes can, and often do, take years to resolve. Knowing this, litigants increasingly are turning to private-sector mediation because it provides the opportunity for creative settlements at a fraction of the time and cost. As the number of mediations grows, civil trial dockets are shrinking along with the legal bills. The court system still is alive and well and available, but it took a supplemental process to address a glaring public need.
I submit, from personal experience and ample research, that mediation can supplement our legislative process — not replace it — and produce solutions that advance the public good.
At its core, mediation is a facilitated negotiation. Elected leaders and local, state and executive- branch officials act as conveners to bring stakeholders to the table. A trained and compensated neutral third party serves as a facilitator. These professionals employ a process fashioned exclusively to treat issues as problems to be solved by consensus. Negotiations are geared to satisfy interests rather than compromise adversarial positions. Stakeholders provide the subject matter expertise. Once a consensus is reached, it often is submitted as legislation for formal public debate to determine whether the proposed solution is truly in the people’s best interest.
Mediations generally are conducted outside of the time when the House and Senate meet, when the opportunity to delve into complex issues is typically a luxury. This gives the parties the chance to do the hard work of narrowing issues and closely examining drafts of potential legislation. Legislators then can focus on the proposed remedy from a strictly public-interest perspective.
Another major benefit of resolution by consensus is that the stakeholders, no matter their original positions, are invested in the solution and are incentivized to see it implemented wisely. The potential for obstructionist litigation decreases, thereby avoiding an expensive court fight.
Mediation is not an entirely novel approach in Virginia. Disputes between local governments and over environmental regulations, zoning laws, business issues and tax policy, as well as differences in the criminal justice arena, all have been successfully mediated. The Code of Virginia already contains an explicit structure permitting mediation by governmental bodies. Indeed, Gov. Tim Kaine brought a trained mediator into his senior leadership team to apply these skills to several complex issues.
Virginia is blessed with a number of excellent mediators and mediation programs. The Virginia Association of Community Conflict Resolution represents nine such efforts across the state. U.Va. boasts the Institute of Environmental Negotiation while George Mason University has an excellent School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and Virginia Commonwealth University recently has established the Virginia Center for Consensus Building at which I serve as executive director.
In Virginia we pride ourselves on the civility of our relationships. Public-policy mediation builds on that admirable trait. Our elected officials, at all levels, should, therefore, exercise their power as conveners of stakeholders and enlist them in resolving public-policy disputes through mediation.
If the goal is win-win, not win-lose, there is no better choice.
Mark E. Rubin is executive director of the Virginia Center for Consensus Building at Virginia Commonwealth University.2014-11-19T21:35:00+00:00
Long & Foster executives named ‘Most Influential Real Estate Executives’
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/long-foster-executives-named-most-influential-real-estate-executives#When:20:54:00ZTwo executives of Chantilly-based Long & Foster Real Estate have been named to Real Estate Executive Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Real Estate Executives list.
The list, which is unranked, includes Long & Foster’s Founder and CEO Wes Foster and President and Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey S. Detwiler.
To compile the list, Real Estate Executives analyzed the leading real estate companies in America. According to the magazine, the list seeks to “recognize and celebrate the service, dedication and hard work that real estate executives put into building their companies and serving their agents and clients.”
Real Estate Executives also ranked the top 200 real estate brokers and agents in America, with Long & Foster snagging the No. 3 spot among U.S. brokerages. A number of Long & Foster agents are recognized on that list, including The Creig Northrop Team, Debbie Dogrul Associates, The Wydler Brothers, The Fleisher Group, Tom & Cindy and Associates, The Banner Team, and The Mottola Group.2014-11-19T20:54:00+00:00
Cabela’s plans a new store in Gainesville
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cabelas-plans-a-new-store-in-gainesville#When:19:06:00ZCabela’s Inc. announced plans Wednesday to open a 79,000-square-foot-store in Gainesville, its third location in Virginia.
Cabela’s, a retailer that focuses on outdoor recreational gear, anticipates a spring 2017 opening. The store would be located at the intersection of Linton-Hall Road and Lee Highway, adjacent to the Virginia Gateway Center, a 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center.
Gainesville will join two other Virginia locations. Cabela’s is opening an 82,000-square-foot Bristol in fall 2015, and a 97,500-square-foot location in the Short Pump area of Henrico County is expected to open in spring 2016.
Cabela’s said it expects to employ about 190 full-time and part-time employees at Gainesville.
“The fact that Cabela’s is bringing three new stores to Virginia speaks volumes to the outdoor opportunities and lifestyle in the state, as well as Virginians’ passion for the Cabela’s brand,” Tommy Millner, Cabela’s CEO said in a statement. “The Gainesville store also will be a great location for our customers in Maryland and West Virginia.”
The store will be built in Cabela’s new-format layout, designed to surround customers in an outdoor-like experience with a large mountain replica, wildlife displays and an aquarium. In addition to outdoor products, the store will include an indoor archery range, gun library, bargain cave, deli and fudge shop.
Also, it will offer a full-service boat shop and a selection of wildlife and land management products, including tractors, attachments and implements.
Cabela’s stores stock thousands of products, including hunting, fishing, camping and hiking gear, as well as clothing and outdoor-themed gifts and furnishings.
Cabela’s, based in Sidney, Neb., currently operates 64 stores across North America and has announced plans to open an additional 19 locations over the next two years.2014-11-19T19:06:00+00:00
Strasburg-based First Bank to acquire six Bank of America branches
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/strasburg-based-first-bank-to-acquire-six-bank-of-america-branches#When:18:15:00ZStrasburg-based First National Corp. has signed an agreement to acquire six bank branches in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia from Bank of America.
First National is the parent company of First Bank. The deal is expected to add an estimated $308 million in deposits to the bank’s balance sheet.
One of the nation’s largest banks, Bank of America is thinning its branch network nationwide. Since 2007, the Charlotte-based bank has reduced its number of branches from 6,000 to 5,000, according to Charlottesville-based SNL Financial.
In June, Asheville, N.C.-based HomeTrust Bank bought 10 Bank of America branches in Virginia and North Carolina, including six in the greater Roanoke Valley.
First Community Bancshares in Bluefield, the parent company of First Community Bank, also bought six branches from Bank of America.
The branches being acquired by First Bank are located in Woodstock, Elkton, Staunton, Waynesboro, Dillwyn and Farmville.
First Bank expects the deal to be completed in the second quarter of next year after receiving approval by regulators and satisfying customary closing conditions.
The bank intends to hire all current employees of the acquired branches.
On Sept. 30, First Bank had 10 retail banking offices and $519 million in total assets.
During the second quarter of this year, the bank expanded to Staunton, opening First Mortgage, a newly
formed mortgage division.
In the third quarter, the bank opened another mortgage and loan production office in Harrisonburg.
First Bank’s financial adviser in the transaction was Sandler O'Neill Partners LP and its legal adviser was Williams Mullen.2014-11-19T18:15:00+00:00
Retired Marine Corps general named chairman at Haystax Technology
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/retired-marine-corps-general-named-chairman-at-haystax-technology#When:17:23:00ZPeter Pace, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general, has been named chairman of McLean-based Haystax Technology Inc.
The company provides advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions
Pace has been a member of the Haystax board since 2013. He served as the 16th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and was a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Pace currently serves on the Director of National Intelligence’s Senior Advisory Board, is a Distinguished Visiting Research Scholar for Fordham University, and an adjunct faculty member of Georgetown University.
Haystax recently completed its third acquisition in two years with the purchase of NetCentrics Corp., a provider of cybersecurity and network management solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies.
In addition to its headquarters in McLean, Haystax has offices in Herndon, Raleigh, N.C. and San Francisco.2014-11-19T17:23:00+00:00
Small businesses lobby for governor’s support of federal Clean Power Plan.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/small-businesses-lobby-for-governors-support-of-federal-clean-power-plan#When:16:37:00ZJust in time for today’s Virginia General Assembly hearing on the federal Clean Power Plan, some Virginia business owners have voiced their support for the plan in a letter delivered Tuesday to Gov. Terry McAuliffe and other lawmakers.
Fifty business leaders from across the state, representing a range of industries from clean energy to real estate and food service, signed the letter — an effort sponsored by the national nonpartisan business group Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The group of business leaders, investors and others says its promotes smart environmental policies that drive economic growth.
The Virginia House and Senate Commerce and Labor Committees are meeting today to discuss the impact on Virginia of a draft regulation that the Environmental Protection Agency released in June that would reduce carbon emissions. It calls for cutting emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030 .
The hearing is expected to draw a large coalition of various student, public health and environmental groups. They plan to rally today at 12:30 p.m. at the Bell Tower on Richmond’s Capitol Square to show their support for ramping up clean-energy sources in the commonwealth to address the threat of climate change.
According to E2, the Clean Power Plan gives Virginia an opportunity to develop its clean-energy economy and create thousands of jobs. However, the plan has generated plenty of controversy, and the EPA is allowing time for people and states to submit comments on the new regulations.
E2 executive director Bob Keefe, an Alexandria resident and one of the letter’s signatories, said:
“Our leaders in Richmond should recognize the economic and job opportunities that will come with strong implementation of the Clean Power Plan.”
The letter says implementation of the plan in Virginia could:
· Expand the state’s wind industry. Currently, Virginia has five wind-energy supply chain manufacturing facilities. Development of Virginia’s offshore wind resources could grow these businesses and generate enough electricity to meet 10 percent of the state’s demand.
· Help spur improvements in the state’s energy-efficiency programs. Increased energy efficiency in Virginia could create 5,600 direct new jobs and save Virginia commercial and industrial businesses $531 million by 2020, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
· Grow Virginia’s solar industry. By sending a clear market signal that would steer private-sector investment capital into solar energy, Virginia could add to its 1,900 solar employees and expand beyond the 124 commonwealth businesses that are part of the solar industry’s supply chain.
· Protect vulnerable coastal communities. Sea-level rise threatens infrastructure critical to the economy and the national security, including Naval Station Norfolk.
A September E2 poll found that 63 percent of Virginia’s small-business owners think Virginia lawmakers should do more to help the state compete with other states to attract and develop more clean, renewable energy companies and jobs. The same poll showed a majority of Virginia’s small business owners think McAuliffe and the state legislature should support the Clean Power Plan.
According to E2, Virginia continues to lag behind neighboring states in clean energy job growth. E2’s most recent national quarterly jobs report shows that Maryland and North Carolina are among the top 10 states in the country for clean energy job announcements. Since E2 first began tracking clean energy job announcements in 2011, North Carolina has announced 12,900 jobs; Maryland about 5,300 and Virginia barely more than 400.
Other voices have weighed in on the plan, including Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. In an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Richmond Times-Dispatch, Duval contends that the plan would risk Virginia’s affordable energy prices and put it at a competitive disadvantage against neighboring states. That’s because the EPA’s draft regulation assigns Virginia a state emissions limit more stringent that that of neighboring states.
“It is important that Virginia businesses and public officials insist on more equitable treatment for our state under this rule,” DuVal said.
Virginia’s State Corporation Commission, the state agency that regulates utility rates in Virginia, has said the plan would cost the state’s largest utility, Dominion Virginia Power, up to $6 billion to implement.
McAuliffe said in an earlier statement that he agrees with the plan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions in order to combat global warming. However, the state has submitted comments to the EPA “with the intent of improving the Clean Power Plan by making it more equitable and better recognizing the progress that states like ours have already made in reducing carbon.”
Under the current proposed regulation, states receive no credit for zero-emitting generation such as nuclear power (Virginia has four nuclear units at two power plants), something Virginia would like to see changed.
According to the state’s Department of Environmental Quality, Virginia power companies reduced carbon emissions by 39 percent from 2005 to 2012.2014-11-19T16:37:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Arlington_County_-_Virginia_-_2.jpgArlington skyline picture courtesy Wikipedia.
Arlington named No.1 city in the U.S. for young entrepreneurs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/arlington-named-no.1-city-in-the-u.s.-for-young-entrepreneurs#When:14:41:00ZPersonal finance website NerdWallet has named Arlington the No.1 city in America for young entrepreneurs. Arlington was the only city in the commonwealth that made the Top 20 list.
Other cities in the Top Five were Madison, Wis. (No. 2); Lincoln, Neb. (No.3); Minneapolis, Minn. (No. 4) and Denver, Colo. (No. 5).
Arlington snagged the top spot thanks to its “large young and well-educated population,” NerdWallet says. It boasts the highest percentage of 25 to 34 year olds in the U.S. and is home to the nation’s most residents over 25 years old with a bachelor’s degree or higher (at least 74 percent). Arlington also has high per capita income and low unemployment, NerdWallet says.
To compile the list NerdWallet examined at cities access to funds; networking and mentorship; local economy and affordability.2014-11-19T14:41:00+00:00
Chesapeake Bank ready to move into the Richmond market
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/chesapeake-bank-ready-to-move-into-the-richmond-market#When:21:19:00ZKilmarnock-based Chesapeake Bank plans to open its first Richmond-area branch next summer.
The new location, which will be the bank’s 13th branch, represents its initial move outside its current footprint in the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and Williamsburg.
The Richmond branch, a 7,500-square-foot building, will be located at 5501 Patterson Ave. in the Westhampton neighborhood of city’s affluent Near West End.
The bank’s application for the branch was approved on Nov. 6 by the State Corporation Commission Bureau of Financial Institutions and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond .
Chesapeake Bank has more than $600 million in assets and employs 200 people.2014-11-18T21:19:00+00:00
Port reports October profit
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/port-reports-october-profit#When:20:50:00ZThe Port of Virginia continues to improve its bottom line while handling record cargo levels.
The port said Tuesday that it had an operating income of $314,000 in October, compared with an operating loss of $1.5 million in October 2013.
In the first four months of fiscal year 2015, which began July 1, the port has an operating income of $4.6 million, compared with an operating loss of $4.8 million during the same period last year. The port has reported profits in seven out of the last eight months.
“When comparing the fiscal-year-to-date performances, we are looking at a swing of $9 million, so we are continuing to find solid financial ground,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.
The Port of Virginia handled 221,105 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units) in October – the most ever handled in a month. That was a 7 percent increase over October 2013. For January through October, the port has handled 7.1 percent more cargo than the same period last year.
The Port of Virginia is still trying to get a handle on overcoming congestion at its marine terminals.
“And while we have an improving financial picture, we are still not where we want to be in terms of delivery of service at [Virginia International Gateway] and [Norfolk International Terminals],” Reinhart said. “The challenge of congestion at our gates continues and impedes the ability for motor carriers to do their job with efficiency. At the gates, execution, consistency and adaptability is a primary focus."2014-11-18T20:50:00+00:00
SunTrust offers customers Apple Pay option
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/suntrust-offers-customers-apple-pay-option#When:20:44:00ZSunTrust Banks Inc. is joining the Apple Pay bandwagon.
The Atlanta-based bank, which has operations in Virginia, is offering Apple Pay as a method of handing payments.
Customers with SunTrust debit and credit cards can use Apple Pay on their iPhone 6,iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, Apple Watch or iPad mini 3 to complete purchases online and at participating retailers.
Apple Pay is a mobile payment and digital wallet service offered by Apple Inc.
“The addition of Apple Pay provides SunTrust clients with an innovative, secure option to make purchases,” Beverly Ladley, SunTrust’s client segments and solutions executive, said in a statement.
The SunTrust move on Tuesday follows recent announcements that Bi-Lo, Harveys and Winn-Dixie grocery stores are adopting the Apple Pay system.
SunTrust Merchant Services is offering Apple Pay equipment to merchants so that they can facilitate the “tap and pay” transactions.
SunTrust said the Apple Pay system has features designed to ensure security and privacy. When customers use a SunTrust credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the bank said, the card numbers are not stored on the device or on Apple servers. Each transaction also is authorized with a one-time security code, instead of using the security code from the back of the card.2014-11-18T20:44:00+00:00
ATK, Orbital continue to support merger plans
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/atk-orbital-continue-to-support-merger-plans#When:20:42:00ZThings seem to be looking up for Dulles-based Orbital Sciences Corp. despite a failed rocket launch in October.
The company announced this week that it and Arlington-based Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) are moving forward with a $5 billion merger plans that would combine ATK’s aerospace and defense units with Orbital.
Orbital also said it has been awarded a NASA contract, valued at $185 million over five years, to operate the space agency’s Science Balloon Operations program.
“During the course of the last two weeks, both companies have diligently evaluated and analyzed information relating to the [failed rocket launch] and Orbital’s go-forward plan,” Mark DeYoung, president and CEO of ATK said in a statement. “We believe it was responsible and essential to conduct this special due diligence and as a result of our findings, management and our board of directors continue to endorse the previously announced transaction.”
On Oct. 28, Orbital attempted to launch an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island. Seconds after blastoff, the rocket exploded into a fireball. The mission was supposed to deliver noncritical supplies to the space station.
Since then, the company has announced a go-forward plan to fulfill its $1.9 billion contract with NASA to transport cargo to and from the International Space Station. Since a preliminary investigation pointed to failure in one of the rocket’s engines, Orbital says it will likely stop using the refurbished Soviet-era AJ26 engines in its rockets.
Orbital and ATK said in a statement that they will hold separate, stockholder meetings in connection with the proposed merger on Jan. 27. The transaction is expected to close in February and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory and stockholder approvals.
Under the new NASA contract, Orbital’s Technical Services Division in Greenbelt, Md., will provide program management, mission planning, engineering services and field operations for the balloon program, which supports high-altitude scientific research. Orbital will conduct balloon missions from the U.S. and abroad, with approximately 15 flights per year. The work will primarily be conducted at the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility in Palestine, Texas.2014-11-18T20:42:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/cookielofts.JPGRebkee recently completed a $24 million rehab of the former FFV Interbake Building.
Developers say Scott’s Addition offers location and a hip, industrial vibe
Scott’s Addition, one of the Richmond region’s hottest new development areas, doesn’t want to be the next Shockoe Bottom. It’s got what developers describe as an industrial, “kitschy” vibe that is drawing new retailers, restaurants and residents.
But that doesn’t mean the area, bounded on the north side by The Boulevard, on the west by Interstate 95 and on the south by Broad Street, isn’t without challenges.
Increasing property prices, parking, zoning and the unresolved question of whether Richmond’s baseball stadium will remain on The Boulevard are all factors that will influence developers going forward, the panel said.
Sponsored by the Greater Richmond Association of Commercial Real Estate (GRACRE), the panel discussion on Scott’s Addition drew 230 people to the Country Club of Virginia Tuesday. They wanted to know why the area has taken off and what opportunities remain.
Since about 2005, developers have been redeveloping industrial and warehouse spaces into multifamily, retail and office uses. According to the developers, about 120,000 people live or work within three minutes of the area.
“The demographics are good there. We’ve already got the things that Shockoe is trying to bring. The museum market is already there,” said Rob Hargett, a principal with Midlothian-based Rebkee Co., referring to several nearby museums, including the Science Museum of Virginia on Broad Street and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on The Boulevard.
Rebkee just completed a major renovation in the area, the $24 million rehabilitation of the former FFV Interbake Building on Broad Street into the Cookie Factory Lofts apartments.
Another developer, Scott Coleman, who owns the Lamplighter coffee company and several other buildings in Scott’s Addition, said the location of Scott’s Addition makes it a prime target for development. “It’s easy access to the highway. What makes it kitschy is its industrial vibe. It still has a lot of functioning manufacturers and distributors in there. “
Coleman said small businesses are looking for the same thing he was: a, clean modern space at a realistic price. Yet, that’s getting harder to come by.
As the area has grown in popularity, drawing new businesses such as Ardent Craft Ales, a brewery that moved into a renovated 1940s warehouse in June, land and building prices have gone up. “Valuations are No.1 the biggest hurdle we have,” Coleman said. “Parking is No. 2.”
The developers said they would like to see more two-way streets and connectivity throughout the area. In order to create a sense of place, people have to be able to get around, and it’s not an easy walk now for people in Scott’s Addition to get to either the museums or the Flying Squirrels ballpark, The Diamond, they said.
About a year ago, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones proposed a $200 million plan to move the stadium to Shockoe Bottom as part of a larger mixed-use project, but the plan did not win council approval, so the future location of the stadium remains unresolved.
“We need an economic development plan for the neighborhood,” said Hargett, whose company has submitted a private proposal to keep the stadium on The Boulevard. He says his company has not heard from the city about the plan. “We all want to see the project solved through a public process. That’s the last piece for the puzzle,” in the area, Hargett said.
Richmond City Councilman Jon Baliles, who attended the meeting, agrees that a decision on the ballpark is long overdue. “It’s been more than a year. Something needs to happen,” he said in an interview with Virginia Business. “We looked at the major’s plan, and it didn’t pass muster.”
Richmond Braves, the previous minor league team in Richmond, left the city in 2008 after plans for replacing the aging Diamond stalled.
Another developer Charlie Diradour, president of Lion’s Paw Development, is bringing a Starbucks to The Boulevard and a Growlers to Go beer taproom to 1017 North Boulevard. The taproom is expected to open in time for the holidays, while Starbucks, with a sit-down area and a drive-through window, will open in early 2015.
Diradour envisions Scott’s Addition as a place where people can live, work and play. More density could work he said, “but it is being hindered by parking ordinances and zoning laws … We have to address the parking issue,” he said, or businesses may not want to continue coming to the area, because many of them need 8 to 10 places for employees.
Diradour also was critical of the city’s role in terms of providing food vendors on site during the summer sessions of the Washington Redskins training center located behind the Science Museum on Broad Street. “To take 3,000 to 4,000 people and say, ‘This is where you are going to eat,’ was a big mistake by the city,” he said, noting that the policy hurts local restaurants nearby who could benefit by a bump in business by one of the area’s largest tourism draws.
Going forward, Dirador thinks the area will continue to attract small, local businesses. The developers said they see room for grocery stores, a fitness center, art spaces and service companies, such as nail salons.2014-11-18T20:04:00+00:00
HDL cuts staff by 132 people, or about 15 percent of its workforce.
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hdl-cuts-staff-by-132-people-or-about-15-percent-of-its-workforce#When:17:16:00ZHealth Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. said Tuesday that it is cutting its staff by 132 people, or about 15 percent of its work force nationwide.
“We deeply regret the business necessity that made this reduction in force necessary, and we are all mindful that this will pose difficulties and challenges for our former colleagues and their families. At the same time, these necessary changes provide us with the opportunity to re-energize our company — one with a sharp focus on our core mission as we forge a new future for HDL Inc., ’’Joe McConnell, the company’s CEO said in a statement.
In recent years, HDL had become involved in a number of non-core business interests that McConnell said required significant time, attention and resources. “The need to reallocate our resources to return to our core mission is what led to the reduction in force.”
That mission, he said, is to fight cardiovascular disease and diabetes with innovative cutting-edge, advanced laboratory testing that can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment.
McConnell, one of the company’s cofounders, took over as CEO in September, after another co-founder, Tonya Mallory, resigned. She stepped down, citing family reasons, shortly after the Wall Street Journal published an unflattering front-page story about a federal probe into HDL.
The company is under scrutiny as part of a federal investigation into reimbursement practices in the clinical laboratory industry. The company also is being sued by Connecticut-based health insurer Cigna, which seeks to recover $84 million in insurance claims paid to HDL.
Tuesday’s reduction in force follows an earlier move by HDL in August when it let about 30 people go.
Founded in 2009, the company quickly ramped up and was one of the fastest growing companies in the Richmond region, with a local staff of about 750, and a total staff of about 850.2014-11-18T17:16:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Topgolf_Rendering_Example_11.jpg
Topgolf International to build 65,000-square-foot entertainment center in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/topgolf-international-to-build-65000-square-foot-entertainment-center-in-vi#When:16:16:00ZGolf entertainment leader Topgolf International Inc. said Tuesday that it will build a third Virginia location in Virginia Beach.
The company plans to begin construction on a 65,000-square-foot facility next month, with the site expected to open in fall 2015.
Topgolf Virginia Beach will be located at I-264 and Newtown Road off of Greenwich Road. The facility will be a couple of miles from the Town Center of Virginia Beach and about a 20-minute drive from the oceanfront resort as well as downtown Norfolk.
Over the next three years, the company plans to invest $29.9 million in Virginia Beach
Topgolf offers competitive golfing games for all ages and skill levels and advanced technology to track players’ shots. At its facilities, players can hit golf balls containing computer microchips that track each shot’s accuracy and distance while also getting points for hitting targets.
The store also will offer more than 230 high-definition, flat-screen TVs and an extensive food and beverage menu.
The first Topgolf in the United States was built in in Alexandria in 2005. In April, the company announced plans to build in Loudoun County.
“Virginia Beach is an ideal location for Topgolf,” Topgolf Real Estate Director Zach Shor, said in a statement. “The tourism industry is booming, and the local business economy is also very strong, with more than 20 international companies headquartered here.”
Warren D. Harris, director, Virginia Beach Economic Development, welcomed the announcement. “Topgolf is one of the nation’s most dynamic new entertainment concepts integrating technology with sports, recreation and dining. Virginia Beach is joining a select group of markets in the country welcoming Topgolf. This will definitely be an asset as we seek to attract and retain a talented workforce.”
The new three-level location, constructed by ARCO/Murray, will include up to 3,000 square feet of private event space and 102 climate-controlled hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time. Shor estimates that Topgolf Virginia Beach will serve about 450,000 visitors in its first year of operation.
The Virginia Beach Development Authority approved a $300,000 Economic Development Investment Program grant based on the company’s capital investment in the city.
Topgolf, based in Dallas, said each of its locations typically creates 450 full- and part-time jobs. The company said it expects its economic output in Virginia Beach to exceed $264.5 million over a 10-year period.
Topgolf has 13 locations serving more than 2.7 million guests annually.2014-11-18T16:16:00+00:00
JLL says Northern Virginia is one of world’s most important data-center markets
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/jll-says-northern-virginia-is-one-of-worlds-most-important-data-center-mark#When:19:42:00ZNorthern Virginia is one of the world’s most important data center markets, offering 2.4 million square feet of data center space with 498.3 megawatts of available power, according to research in JLL's Data Center Outlook for 2014.
By offering the industry's best latency — a measure of network traffic speed -- Northern Virginia also has become the country's market leader for enterprise users and cloud computing.
JLL’s outlook says IT spending worldwide will top $3.7 trillion in 2014. Growth is expected to accelerate in 2015, with the trend continuing by companies of putting data on the cloud.
Fueled by the outsourcing of IT infrastructure by businesses and the popularization of cloud computing, growth in the Northern American data center market is expected to drive revenue to $14.8 billion by 2016, a 32 percent increase over 2014, according to JLL.
"Northern Virginia provides enterprise users a strategic advantage over other data center markets: low cost electricity, customer density, enormous bandwidth with low latency, speed to market permitting, geographic neutrality to natural hazards and low total cost of ownership," Allen Tucker, managing director in JLL's Tysons office, said in a statement. "Power costs in Loudoun County remain steady and very cost competitive compared to other Tier 1 MSAs that enterprise users naturally consider for their technology deployment.”
Loudoun has focused on developing a best-in-class infrastructure to make the data industry its primary economic engine for both data center operators and enterprise users,” added Tucker. “Further, Northern Virginia has exploded as the Silicon Valley of the east with its marquee list of companies establishing a large footprint here for data centers."
While some markets have seen data center providers pullback on construction projects and have offered discounts and concessions to fill available vacancies, Northern Virginia continues to see new operators entering the market to develop additional product.
More than 107,000 square feet of data center development is underway in Northern Virginia, and an additional 882,150 square feet is planned for the market, said JLL’s report.
"Proximity to the federal government, high quality technology workforce, new 2.0 dot-com enterprises, an affluent population base, growing entrepreneurial community and excellent institutions of higher learning all support the growing demand for market share in Northern Virginia,” said Tucker.
JLL, formerly known as Jones Lang LaSalle, is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services. With gross revenue of $4.5 billion, JLL has more than 200 corporate offices, operates in 75 countries and has a global workforce of approximately 53,000.2014-11-17T19:42:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Tom_Visotsky_-1-_Oct_2013.jpg
If the U.S. government were a corporation, would you buy its stock?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/if-the-u.s.-government-were-a-corporation-would-you-buy-its-stock#When:18:32:00ZWhat do you call an organization that:
• Consistently loses money every year
• Projects that its losses will continue indefinitely
• Receives qualified opinions annually from their auditors
• Spends all trust fund assets to cover operating expenses
• Has large unfunded liabilities (UL), both on and off its balance sheet, and
• Has a dysfunctional “management” and “board of directors”?
That organization, as you have probably deduced, is the United States government, which, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), “continues to face an unsustainable long-term fiscal path.” Let’s take a look at the biggest areas of risk and concern.
On a corporate basis, the present-value of federal government liabilities would total $73.3 trillion, equaling $231,230 for every man, woman and child, or $620,135 for every full-time worker.
“Trust” Fund “Investments”
The Social Security and Medicare trust funds have accumulated about $4.8 trillion in excess receipts over disbursements and “placed” these amounts in trust funds that are supposedly reserved for future benefit payments. All of this money has, in fact, been spent and replaced by “special,” non-negotiable U.S. Treasury securities. In fact, no liability for this $4.8 trillion is even shown in the U.S. financial statement.
The federal government looks at the funds as being part of the government; so the $4.8 trillion liability is eliminated in the consolidation. “Under federal accounting rules, social insurance expenditures, as reported in the Statement of Social Insurance (SOSI) and the Statement of Long-Term Fiscal Projections. . .are not considered liabilities of the Government.”
Largest Government Liability
Social Security and Medicare represent 73 percent of the government’s liabilities. The $48.6 trillion unfunded liability, plus the $4.8 trillion debt to the trust fund, equals $53.4 trillion, or $451,777 per full-time worker.
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense (DOD) operated at a gross cost of $685 billion, with a net cost of $577 billion. Costs would have been higher except for a somewhat extraordinary gain of $63 billion from changes in assumptions in “actuarial projections of their long-term benefits liabilities and their related costs.” How much should be spent on the DOD is the subject of much debate, but it is noteworthy that the U.S. spends as much as the next 9 largest spending countries, combined.
To finance the $805 billion FYE shortfall, the government borrowed $8.145 trillion and paid off $7.44 trillion. The more than $8.1 trillion borrowed last year represents 67 percent of all federal debt outstanding. This implies that the average maturity of all debt outstanding is less than two years, meaning the U.S. is exposed to both interest rate and liquidity risks, much greater than if the outstanding debt was concentrated in 10- or 30-year bonds.
The fed and quantitative easing
The Federal Reserve Bank (Fed) has taken extraordinary measures to stimulate the economy by facilitating the government’s borrowing with low interest rates. However, it should be noted that none of the Federal Reserve System (Fed) activities is “included in the federal budget. It is considered an independent central bank, and its decisions are not ratified by the executive branch of the Federal Government.” Also excluded from the statements are all fiduciary funds and Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs), such as the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Banks, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and Federal Farm Credit Bank.
The government’s deficits, outstanding debt, and unfunded liabilities are so large they are hard to comprehend. By converting these large numbers into stakeholder amounts, hopefully, it is easier for people to understand the gravity of the U.S. financial condition and demand that their “management” take corrective action, before the numbers get even worse.
Medicare Part D was passed in 2003 and became effective in 2006. Would the bill still have passed if it was reported at the time that the president and members of Congress were committing to another unfunded liability of $6.9 trillion? Would every full-time worker have been willing to pay a one-time tax of $58,375 to pay for the benefits provided by this coverage?
Since Social Security and Medicare represent 73 percent of the government’s liabilities, is it realistic to think we can dig out of the debt we’re in without addressing these programs?
TOM VISOTSKY, CPA, is a Virginia Society of CPAs past president and currently serves as Finance & Business Manager for First Baptist Church in Richmond. He can be reached at email@example.comT18:32:00+00:00
Roanoke industrial building sells for $1.3 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/roanoke-industrial-building-sells-for-1.3-million#When:16:41:00ZThird Capital Inc. has purchased a 60,000-square-foot industrial property on nine acres in Roanoke from Concrete Pipe & Precast for $1.3 million.
According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer, which brokered the deal, Recycling & Disposal Solutions (RDS) will use the properties at 835 Korte St. and 2725 Roanoke Ave. as it expands operations in Southwest Virginia. The company also has a Portsmouth location serving the Hampton Roads area.
Barry L. Ward of Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the buyer.2014-11-17T16:41:00+00:00
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announce Richmond-area leases
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announce-richmond-area-leases#When:16:15:00ZXerox State Healthcare has leased 42,213 square feet at 7545 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County. Austin H. Newman, Connie Jordan Nielsen and Brian K. Berkey handled lease negotiations on behalf of the landlord.
Covington Travel leased 14,213 square feet in Lakeview Center at 4800 Cox Road in Henrico County. Mark E. Douglas and Mac Wilson handled lease negotiations on behalf of the landlord.
Tuesday Morning leased 10,617 square feet in Shoppes at TJ Maxx at 9125 W. Broad Street in Henrico. Richard L. Thalhimer handled lease negotiations.
Four Paws Pet Resort renewed its lease of 10,600 square feet at 1915 N. Hamilton St. in Richmond. John G. Myers Jr. and Scott Douglas handled lease negotiations.
RVA Antiques LLC leased 9,475 square feet at 6100 Lakeside Ave. in Henrico Connie Jordan Nielsen and Alicia Farrell handled lease negotiations.2014-11-17T16:15:00+00:00
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust enters into joint-venture agreement with child-care franchisor
Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust Inc. said Monday that it has entered into a non-binding joint venture agreement with Lightbridge Properties LLC and Lightbridge Franchise Co., an early-education and child-care franchisor located throughout New Jersey. The company also has locations under development in Virginia and other states.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lightbridge Properties will provide Wheeler with the option to participate in the acquisition and development of any potential properties that Lightbridge Franchise has identified as future sites for its centers located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Virginia.
“We believe this innovative joint-venture partnership between Lightbridge Franchise, Lightbridge Properties and Wheeler will accelerate the site selection and development process for our existing and future Lightbridge Academy franchisees,” Guy Falzarano, Lightbridge Franchise's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Jon S. Wheeler, chairman and CEO for Wheeler Real Estate said the joint venture is “another opportunity for the company to create value that will complement our existing property portfolio. Lightbridge Academy centers are typically located within ‘necessity-based’ retail centers in secondary and tertiary markets and with Lightbridge Franchise Company’s focus on new sites in the Northeast, Wheeler will be able to strengthen its presence in areas where it is already established.”
Headquartered in Virginia Beach, Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust specializes in acquiring, developing, leasing and managing income producing assets, such as community centers, neighborhood centers, strip centers and freestanding retail properties, primarily in secondary and tertiary markets. During the third quarter it completed the acquisition of nine properties and opened a new regional office in Charleston, S.C.2014-11-17T15:56:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Gale_Sommers_NV.jpg
Professional Warranty Service Corp. names CEO
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/professional-warranty-service-corp.-names-ceo#When:15:56:00ZChantilly-based Professional Warranty Services Corp. (PWSC) has named Gale Sommers as its new CEO. Sommers was most recently the company’s chief financial officer and senior vice president.
PWSC provides builders with home warranty products and risk management solutions.
In his new role, Sommers will direct the company strategy, maintain and manage relationships with customers, expand alliances with insurance partners and help grow PWSC’s products and services.
Sommers has about 20 years of experience in the real estate and insurance services industry and almost 40 years in the financial services sector. Before working at PWSC, he was SVP and CFO at Reilly Mortgage Group Inc. and a partner at Ernst & Young LLP.
He received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington and master’s degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.2014-11-17T15:56:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_6717.jpg
Cookie Factory Lofts apartments open in Richmond
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cookie-factory-lofts-apartments-open-in-richmond#When:15:25:00ZThe aroma of cookies baking in the former FFV Interbake Building on Broad Street may be gone, but architectural remnants of the building’s history
remain, thanks to a $24 million rehabilitation that transformed the 255,000-square-foot bakery building into a residential community with 178 apartments.
The seven-story project, by The Rebkee Co., Commonwealth Architects, Branch and Associates and The Capstone Contracting Co., celebrated its opening Saturday with an open house and cookies.
For nearly 80 years, the Southern Biscuit Works (FFV Interbake) baked cookies and snacks at the property, known for a distinctive neon rooftop sign that was restored.
According to Commonwealth Architects, residents are moving into the first phase of 60 units. The developers expect the entire project to be complete by next month.
Commonwealth Architects reconfigured the cavernous bakery into industrial-style apartments with amenities.
“The large floor plates and raw industrial nature of the building made it ideal for conversion into contemporary living spaces,” Lee Shadbolt, a principal at Commonwealth Architects, said in a statement.
A new two-story glass entry leads into a light-filled central space. Large, original industrial steel sash windows bring natural light into the apartments while new skylights bring light into the corridors.
The community will offer 12 studio apartments, 98 one-bedroom units, 61 two-bedroom units and 7 three-bedroom units. Sizes range from 548 square feet to 1,494 square feet, and rents range from $850 a month to $2,500 a month.
One of the most unique features of the project is the view overlooking the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center. Located near the Boulevard, The Cookie Factory Lofts also are within walking distance of The Science Museum, The Diamond and Movieland at Boulevard Square, another rehabilitation project by Commonwealth Architects.
Amenities include a community room, fitness center, pool and a sitting area with fireplaces.2014-11-17T15:25:00+00:00
Arlington-based Graham Holdings to spin off subsidiary
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/arlington-based-graham-holdings-to-spin-off-subsidiary#When:22:29:00ZThe Arlington-based Graham Holdings Co. plans to spin off its Cable ONE Inc. subsidiary as an independent, publicly traded company.
Cable ONE is a Phoenix-based cable-service provider serving 730,000 small-city subscribers in 19 Midwestern, Western and Southern states. It offers cable television, Internet and home phone services.
Founded in 1986, Cable ONE is now the 10th largest cable company in the U.S.
Graham Holdings intends to complete the deal next year.
“After a careful review of strategic options, we believe that a separation of Graham Holdings and Cable ONE will create value for the companies and our shareholders,” Donald E. Graham, the chairman of Graham Holdings' board of directors, said in a statement. “The separation will position Graham Holdings to pursue continued growth opportunities, while enabling Cable ONE to focus entirely on its video, Internet and voice services and to attract a more natural stockholder base.”
The transaction will be structured as a tax-free, spin-off of Cable ONE to Graham Holdings stockholders.
Completion of the transaction depends on meeting a number of conditions. They include completion of the review process by the Securities and Exchange Commission, other applicable regulatory approvals and the final approval of transaction terms by Graham Holdings’ board of directors.
Graham Holdings is a education and media company whose principal operations currently include educational services, television broadcasting, cable systems, and online, print and local TV news.
The company formerly was known as The Washington Post Co. It changed its name and moved its headquarters from Washington, D.C., to Arlington after selling the newspaper to Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, last year for $250 million.2014-11-14T22:29:00+00:00
Shentel executive elected chairman of trade association
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/shentel-executive-elected-chairman-of-trade-association#When:22:25:00ZChris Kyle, vice president of industry affairs and regulatory for Shenandoah Telecommunications Co. (Shentel), has been elected chairman of the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association (VCTA).
At Shentel, Kyle is responsible for negotiating programming agreements, cable acquisitions, and is the primary contact with local, state and federal legislators and regulators.
He joined the company in 2003, and has led projects in acquisitions, business development, long range planning and Shentel Cable marketing and sales.
Kyle previously served as secretary of the VCTA board of directors. He also serves on the Board of the Shenandoah Valley Partnership.
The operating subsidiaries of Shentel provide local and long distance telephone, Internet and data services, cable television, wireless voice and data services, alarm monitoring, and telecommunications equipment, along with many other associated solutions.2014-11-14T22:25:00+00:00
Rigell’s dealerships to become part of Priority Automotive
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/rigells-dealerships-to-become-part-of-priority-automotive#When:14:50:00ZFreedom Ford in Norfolk and Freedom Volvo in Virginia Beach will become a part of Chesapeake-based Priority Automotive by the end of this year.
The dealerships were founded in 1991 by U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-2nd District), who was re-elected to Congress on Nov. 4. He announced after the election that he was selling the dealerships but keeping a minority interest, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
The two Freedom sites will be rebranded as Priority dealerships when the deal closes, sometime around the end of the year.
The deals bring to 17 the number of new-car dealerships owned by Priority. The company also owns and operates several used-car dealerships and collision repair centers. Freedom Ford is located on North Military Highway in Norfolk and Freedom Volvo is on Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach.
Priority Automotive was founded in 1999 by Dennis Ellmer with the acquisition of Chevrolet and Toyota dealerships in Chesapeake. Today Priority owns and operates Priority Toyota/Scion, Priority Honda, Priority Chevrolet, Priority Acura, and Priority Hyundai in Chesapeake and the Priority Indoor Super Store in Virginia Beach.
The company also owns Priority Toyota/Scion, Priority Nissan, Priority VW, Priority Collision Repair Center, Priority Used Car Super Center and Priority Sales and Service Center in Richmond, as well as Priority Honda in Charlotte, N.C., Priority Honda and Nissan in Newport News, Priority Nissan in Williamsburg and Priority Nissan in Chantilly.
The company has more than 1,200 employees.2014-11-14T14:50:00+00:00
Towers Watson names managing consultant of Arlington office
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/towers-watson-names-managing-consultant-of-arlington-office#When:09:36:00ZTowers Watson has announced that Patrick Cataldo has been named managing consultant of the company’s Arlington County office.
Cataldo joined Towers Watson in 2010 and most recently has been director of account management for the Virginia and Maryland markets. He succeeds Susan Potter, who last month was named Towers Watson’s leader of the Eastern U.S.
Cataldo has more than 20 years in consulting, corporate HR and finance. He was vice president of human resources for Hilton Worldwide and Capital One Financial.
Towers Watson advises companies on consulting, technology, talent management and risk and capital management.2014-11-14T09:36:00+00:00
Union Commerce selects Colliers to manage Henrico County building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/union-commerce-selects-colliers-to-manage-henrico-county-building#When:21:38:00ZUnion Commerce Plaza LLC has selected the Richmond office of Colliers International Real Estate Management Services to manage the Commerce Plaza building at 2809 Emerywood Parkway in Henrico County.
The five-story, 84,000-square-foot building is about 86 percent leased. Chris Wallace and Matt Hamilton will be the leasing representatives for Colliers.2014-11-13T21:38:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/8270_Willow_Oaks_Corporate_Drive.jpg
Merrifield’s Willow Oaks Corporate Center gets new leases
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/merrifields-willow-oaks-corporate-center-gets-new-leases#When:21:36:00ZKBS Real Estate Investment Trust II, a nontraded real estate investment trust based in Newport Beach, Calif., announced the signing of several new and renewal leases at the Willow Oaks Corporate Center in Merrifield.
In the largest transaction, Direct Holdings, a global multichannel marketer of entertainment and lifestyle products, is renewing its lease for 16,396 square feet.
A new tenant, Dynamis Inc., which provides professional services and support to public-and private-sector organizations, signed a 9,261-square-foot lease.
Willow Oaks Corporate Center is made up of three, Class A office buildings, located near the intersections of Route 50 and the Capital Beltway (I-495).
“Willow Oaks is undergoing extensive upgrades to the common areas, exteriors and lobbies, offering tenants a more functional and attractive space,” KBS senior vice president Stephen J. Close, said in a statement.
Steve Hoffeditz, Ed Clark and Wes Evans with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented KBS REIT II on the leases. They are the exclusive leasing agents for Willow Oaks Corporate Center.2014-11-13T21:36:00+00:00
Leading across the generations
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/leading-across-the-generations#When:21:26:00ZIn today’s workplaces, leaders may need to manage across as many as four generations of workers. The key to effective team management: Focus in on what employees have in common.
“While we may have been raised at different times, we still have a shared place to pull from because we want the same things in the workplace,” Wanda Ortwine, an executive at the Luck Cos. in Goochland, said during a leadership conference on Thursday.
There’s no generation gap, she says, when it comes to the desire for challenging projects, competitive compensation, advancement opportunities, fair treatment and a work/life balance.
Ortwine, who is chief family officer for the Luck Cos., led a workshop on leading across generations during the 2014 Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Richmond Leadership Summit held at the former Hotel John Marshall (now the Residences at the John Marshall) in Richmond. The event drew 133 women.
The Luck Cos., one of the country’s largest producers of crushed stone, is a family business that began in 1923. Today, two generations of the family work there while the company’s 180 employees include workers from four generations. Ortwine said they include traditionalists, ages 69 to 89; baby boomers, ages 50 to 68; generation X, ages 34 to 49; and generation Y — also known as millennials — ages 15 to 33.
Ortwine, who joined the company eight years ago, works with Luck family members on activities and business issues such as succession. She noted that by 2020, 50 percent of the workforce will be millennials, or workers born between 1981 and 1999.
“The workforce will be changing dramatically,” she said. “We have to make sure that we are transitioning all the knowledge to the generation X and Y generations.”
One thing for business leaders to keep in mind that is worker values are influenced by events that shape their generations. During one exercise, people, grouped by age, were asked to, define the traits and stereotypes of their generations.
While boomers noted their strong work ethic — shaped in part by opportunities that came as a result of the women’s liberation movement — members of generation X described themselves as latchkey kids who tended to be independent and resourceful, while millenials noted their generation’s expertise with technology and social media.
“Each generation is responsible to help the next generation be successful,” Ortwine said. So while generation Y can teach boomers and older workers about technology, these experienced workers can mentor younger ones on many facets of business.2014-11-13T21:26:00+00:00
Towers Watson names managing consultant of Arlington office
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/towers-watson-names-managing-consultant-of-arlington-office#When:20:48:00ZTowers Watson has announced that Patrick Cataldo has been named managing consultant of the company’s Arlington County office.
Cataldo joined Towers Watson in 2010 and most recently has been director of account management for the Virginia and Maryland markets. He succeeds Susan Potter, who last month was named Towers Watson’s leader of the Eastern U.S.
Cataldo has more than 20 years in consulting, corporate HR and finance. He was vice president of human resources for Hilton Worldwide and Capital One Financial.
Towers Watson advises companies on consulting, technology, talent management and risk and capital management.2014-11-13T20:48:00+00:00
Virginia State University names interim president
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/virginia-state-university-names-interim-president#When:18:13:00ZVirginia State University (VSU) on Thursday named Pamela Hammond, the provost of Hampton University, as its interim president.
Hammond’s appointment takes effect on Jan. 1. She succeeds VSU President Keith Miller who will step down on Dec. 31.
VSU, a historically black land-grant university outside Petersburg, has been buffeted by declining enrollment and financial problems.
Hammond will be the first woman to lead VSU in its nearly 133-year history.
She has served as provost at Hampton University in Hampton since 2009. As provost, she is the chief academic officer at Hampton University, which has 5,500 students and 350 faculty members in eight schools.
During her tenure as provost, the university has created a faculty mentorship program, established an online educational program and introduced 12 new academic programs, including four at the doctoral level.
Before becoming provost, Hammond was dean and professor of nursing at Hampton University.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Tuskegee University; a master’s degree in maternal-child nursing from the University of Maryland-Baltimore; and a doctorate in urban services, with a concentration in educational leadership and health care administration from Old Dominion University.2014-11-13T18:13:00+00:00
Guardian Industries plans to add 30 new jobs in Galax
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/guardian-industries-plans-to-add-30-new-jobs-in-galax#When:16:45:00ZA Michigan-based manufacturer announced Thursday an almost $1.6 million expansion that will add 30 jobs in Galax.
Guardian Industries is expanding its Consolidated Glass & Mirror facility in the Southwestern Virginia city.
Consolidated Glass & Mirror Corp. was founded in Galax in 1979 and became a subsidiary of Guardian Industries in 1992. Auburn Hills, Mich.-based Guardian Industries makes float glass, fabricated glass products and other building products for commercial, residential and automotive applications.
The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission approved $125,000 in funds for the project. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program also will provide Guardian Industries with funding and services for its employee training activities.
Guardian Industries, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 17,000 people around the world.2014-11-13T16:45:00+00:00
Clarabridge names new director
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/clarabridge-names-new-director#When:09:48:00ZClarabridge Inc. has named Jim Tholen to its board of directors.
Tholen is CFO of BroadSoft, where he oversees its finance, accounting, M&A and legal functions. He guided BroadSoft through an IPO in 2010.
Thelen also was CFO and chief strategy officer at CareerBuilder.com, including helping the company go public in 1999. He was CFO and COO at NetSec, a managed security services company that is now part of Verizon Business.
Reston-based Clarabridge provides customer experience management for companies.2014-11-13T09:48:00+00:00
Hunton & Williams forms unit to advise clients on ‘drones’
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hunton-williams-forms-unit-to-advise-clients-on-drones#When:22:09:00ZHunton & Williams LLP has formed a multidisciplinary Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Unit to deal with the legal complexities associated with “drones.”
The UAS Integration Unit is part of the larger Unmanned Systems Group. The unit, led by Doug Kenyon, Eric Murdock, Mike Sievers and Lisa Sotto, includes business, litigation and regulatory professionals who will monitor and participate in the development of regulatory programs for drones and other unmanned systems.
Hunton & Williams said it is starting the UAS Integration Unit because of the emerging regulatory environment regarding drones and the broad scope of their potential commercial uses.
The UAS Integration Unit’s current initiatives include collaborating with clients to develop internal working groups to include representatives from legal, new technologies, risk management, privacy and security, and aviation departments; and participation in joint efforts of industry, trade groups and government to clarify rules regarding the operation of UAS and related systems
Founded in Richmond more than a century ago, Hunton & Williams has 800 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide.2014-11-12T22:09:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Sansbury11.png"World's Best Cheesecake" was first made popular at Sansbury's Bakery in Arlington.
Ashland startup brings back World’s Best Cheesecake brand
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ashland-startup-brings-back-worlds-best-cheesecake-brand#When:20:46:00ZAn Ashland startup, WBC Ventures LLC, is bringing back the World’s Best Cheesecake brand, with the official launch Wednesday of WorldsBestCheesecake.com.
Sansbury “Cotton” Sweeney, founder of Sansbury’s Bakery in Arlington, trademarked the brand in 1964 after his customers started calling his cheesecake “the world’s’s best.” Sansbury’s Bakery was acquired in 2004 by John Fernandez of Daystar Desserts, which eventually moved to its current, larger facility in Ashland. Since then, the World’s Best Cheesecake brand has remained dormant for a decade.
Daystar Desserts primarily sells products on the wholesale level, but WBC Ventures plans to sell desserts to consumers through its website and eventually expand to include retailers, corporate gifts and fundraisers. WBC says it soon will expand its offerings to include bar and Mason jar cakes and other desserts.
The World’s Best Cheesecakes are produced at the Daystar Desserts Bakery in Ashland and packaged and shipped from the company’s warehouse facility in Midlothian.
WBC Ventures is a partnership between Daystar Desserts, Mechanicsville-based Data Directions (which produced and maintains the World’s Best Cheesecake website), Midlothian-based BHVA Ventures (which provides shipping and customer service) and Richmond-based Madison + Main (which is in charge of the company’s PR and marketing services).
Dave Saunders, president of Madison + Main, says the company recently started Madison Avenue Investments LLC to invest in startups and says this is its first foray into that.2014-11-12T20:46:00+00:00
Construction starts on project restoring rail passenger service to Roanoke
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/construction-starts-on-project-restoring-rail-passenger-service-to-roanoke#When:20:11:00ZWork has begun on Amtrak passenger service to Roanoke.
The first phase of construction has started in the project, which involves the Commonwealth of Virginia, Amtrak, Norfolk Southern and the city.
Roanoke has not had intercity passenger rail service for 34 years.
Amtrak service to Roanoke, an extension of Northeast Regional train from Lynchburg, is expected to start in 2017. From Roanoke, the train will stop in Lynchburg, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia and cities as far north as Boston.
“Bringing passenger rail service back to Roanoke will be an enormous economic driver for the region and the entire Commonwealth,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the parties involved to get this project completed so that Virginia families and our economy can benefit from this expanded service as soon as possible.”2014-11-12T20:11:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Bozzuto_TheShelbyInt4.jpeg
Luxury apartment community opens in Alexandria
Bozzuto Management Co. said Wednesday that The Shelby, a new apartment community in Alexandria, is open for leasing.
Developed and owned by Insight Property Group, the project is located at 6200 North Kings Highway.
The Shelby is a mid-rise, luxury community including 240 residences ranging from one-bedrooms to the largest option, two-bedrooms with a den.
According to Bozzuto, The Shelby was developed in response to demand for transit-oriented apartment homes close to major employers. The project is less than a half-mile to the Huntington Metro.
It offers more than 10,000 square feet of amenities. There’s a lobby with a fireplace, a swimming pool, outdoor movie theater and a 24-hour gym with television and equipment for CrossFit, P90X and TRX workouts.
The Shelby also has additional services including a dog park, an on-site dog grooming station, bike storage and an electric car charging station,
Bozzuto Management Co. is a subsidiary of The Bozzuto Group, a residential real estate company based in Washington, D.C. It has developed, acquired and built more than 38,000 homes and apartments and currently manages more than 44,000 apartment units along the Atlantic Coast between Northern Virginia and Boston.
Insight Property Group acquires, repositions, and develops apartments and mixed-use real estate in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.2014-11-12T20:06:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/PRbackdrop_web.jpg
VIDEO: 2014 Virginia Business Political Roundtable
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/video-2014-virginia-business-political-roundtable#When:00:45:00ZVirginia Business held its annual Political Roundtable Nov. 11 at The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. During the roundtable, five political observers weighed in on Virginia's changing political landscape and the impact of the 2014 election on business in Virginia.
The panelists were:
Whittington Clement, Partner, Hunton & Williams
Chelyen Davis, Assistant Editorial Page Editor, The Free Lance-Star
H. Benson Dendy III, President, The Vectre Corp.
Stephen Farnsworth, University of Mary Washington
Chris Saxman, Executive Director, Virginia FREE
Pick up the January issue of Virginia Business to hear more from the discussion.
Lumber Liquidators shifting more than 100 jobs from Hampton Roads to Sandston
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lumber-liquidators-shifting-more-than-100-jobs-from-hampton-roads-to-sandst#When:22:15:00ZToano-based Lumber Liquidators said Tuesday it is relocating its distribution centers in Hampton and Suffolk to a new East Coast Distribution Center in Sandston, a move that will impact 121 of the company’s employees. All the affected employees have been offered to transfer to the new location and 117 accepted, Lumber Liquidators said in an email statement.
“We are supporting them by subsidizing commuting options and offering a relocation bonus to those moving their homes closer to the Sandston location,” the statement said.
The company declined to give further details about the relocation beyond the statement.2014-11-11T22:15:00+00:00
Three major tenants come to MarketSquare in Virginia Beach
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/three-major-tenants-come-to-marketsquare-in-virginia-beach#When:20:58:00ZThree months, three retailers for MarketSquare, a Virginia Beach shopping center that has been repositioned with new tenants and a new name.
A 42,000-square-foot Walmart neighborhood market opened on Nov. 5, not long after Hobby Lobby opened its 53,000-square-foot store in October. Coming in December is One Life Fitness with a 51,000-square-foot fitness facility.
McLeskey & Associates developed the center, originally known as Lynnhaven Shopping Center, at 2866 Virginia Beach Blvd. in the 1970s. Originally, the major tenant was Woolco, a Woolworth outlet. The center had a history of tenants over the decades including HQ, Ames and Farm Fresh, which vacated the property at the end of 2013.
“When Farm Fresh vacated, we saw the opportunity to reposition the center to attract great national, regional and local retailers,” Cheryl P. McLeskey, CEO of McLeskey & Associates said in a statement. “Our strategy was to renovate the center and create a vibrant market area that reflects the quality of the surrounding neighborhoods. Once we started introducing this opportunity to national tenants, they immediately saw the potential of the surrounding neighborhoods and demographics along the Virginia Beach Blvd. corridor.”
With three new anchor tenants in place, McLeskey & Associates said it would complete renovations to the remainder of the center. They include two additional buildings with small retail shops starting at 1,500 square feet up to an outparcel opportunity that can accommodate a 5,000-square-foot building. The renovations will be complete in spring 2015.
The company renamed the 176,000-square-foot center MarketSquare to reflect is repositioning. Owner McLeskey & Associates, a commercial real estate development and leasing company, is headquartered in Virginia Beach.2014-11-11T20:58:00+00:00
Lumos to expand its network in the Richmond and Norfolk areas
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lumos-to-expand-its-network-in-the-richmond-and-norfolk-areas#When:00:29:00ZWaynesboro-based Lumos Networks Corp. — a provider of data, voice and IP-based telecommunication services — plans to expand its fiber network in the Richmond and Norfolk areas.
The $40 million expansion would add about 665 total route miles of fiber. Planning and construction is expected to begin soon and will continue for 12-18 months.
In connection with the expansion, the company said it had recently signed a contract with a major telecommunications carrier to provide high-speed services for at least the next 12 years.
Funding for the build-out cost will be assisted by a new term loan for up to $30 million.
Lumos Networks offers connectivity in 23 markets in Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and Kentucky. It has a current fiber network of 7,645 route miles.2014-11-11T00:29:00+00:00
Dominion acquires 50-megawatt solar project in Utah
Dominion said Monday that it has acquired Pavant Solar, a 50-megawatt solar energy project in Utah. It bought the project from juwi solar (JSI), a global renewable energy provider with U.S. operations based in Boulder, Colo.
Pavant Solar is Dominion's first solar development in Utah and is expected to enter service in the second half of 2015.
"Solar energy is the key component of Dominion's growth in renewable generating capacity. We are delighted to expand our solar footprint into Utah,” David A. Christian, chief executive officer of Dominion Generation, said in a statement.
The project has secured a 20-year power purchase agreement and an interconnection agreement. JSI Construction Group has been awarded the engineering, procurement, and construction contract, and JSI O&M Group will monitor and maintain the project on behalf of Dominion during the initial years of operation.
With the addition of Pavant Solar, Dominion said it has 324 megawatts of solar generating capacity in development, under construction or in operation in California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee and Utah.
Dominion Virginia Power, an electric utility serving 2.5 million customer accounts in Virginia and northeast North Carolina, also has projects in operation or under development as part of its Solar Partnership Program.
The company's renewable portfolio also includes about 850 megawatts of capacity generated by biomass, water and wind. Those facilities are in Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.2014-11-10T20:18:00+00:00
Governor announces $2 million contingency fund for Ebola
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/governor-announces-2-million-contingency-fund-for-ebola#When:19:40:00ZGov. Terry McAuliffe announced Monday the creation of a contingency fund of up to $2 million to help address public health and safety risks associated with the threat of exposure to Ebola.
“There have been no confirmed cases of Ebola in Virginia, but my administration continues to prepare so that we can respond quickly to this public health threat if it reaches our state,” the governor said in a statement. “This $2 million contingency fund will help state and local agencies cover costs in the event of a confirmed case, and allow responders to focus more on protecting Virginia families than on covering costs in the event of an emergency.”
McAuliffe said he is using the authority given to him in the state’s appropriation act to grant supplemental funding for state agencies where a delay in action will produce a threat to life, safety, health or property.
The funds could be used to reimburse state agencies for extraordinary expenditures related to specific incidents and actions taken by agencies related to exposure to Ebola, and/or the threat of the spread of Ebola into the general population.
This includes, but is not limited to, expenses associated with monitoring citizens exposed to Ebola, direct patient care, and transportation. The funding is not intended to reimburse agencies for routine or ongoing program expenses associated with the agency mission. The funds also would not be used to supplant other eligible sources of fund including federal or private insurance funds.
McAuliffe said approval of requests for reimbursement of expenditures would undergo several levels of review by the responsible cabinet secretary and the Department of Planning and Budget to verify costs and justification.
Final approval by the governor will be done on a case-by-case basis.2014-11-10T19:40:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Westerre.png
Georgia company buys two Westerre office buildings for $22 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/georgia-company-buys-two-westerre-office-buildings-for-22-million#When:16:58:00ZThe Simpson Organization, a real estate investment bank based in Atlanta, Ga., has purchased a two-office portfolio in Henrico County for $22 million, or an eye-popping $135 per square foot, the highest sales price in the office sector in the region this year.
According to Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer's Capital Markets Group, which represented the seller, Westerre I and II offers 163,290 square feet of class A office space near Innsbrook Corporate Center in Richmond’s largest suburban office submarket. Eric Robison in Thalhimer's Richmond office completed the sale.
"This is the highest per square foot in the region this year and the highest since pre-recession in the suburbs," said Robison, a senior vice president with Capital Markets. The transaction was Simpson's first investment in the Richmond market, and its second in Virginia this year with Thalhimer brokering another earlier deal for the company in Newport News.
"Market fundamentals are very strong, and most investors still think there's room for growth in our market.That, coupled with a very well located asset that has consistently performed well, drove pricing on this deal. It was very competitive," Robison said.
Westerre is an institutional quality portfolio, consisting of two, four-story office buildings located in the Westerre Office Park. The portfolio is 92.1 percent occupied by 26 tenants, including Tridium Inc., Interbake Foods LLC, Comcast and Batzli Stiles Butler Law Firm.
The buildings are located in a park-like setting with fountains and water features. They are located just off of West Broad Street, with access to I-64, and close to many retail and hotel amenities.
The Simpson Organization has hired Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer’s office leasing team of Dean Meyer and Mac Wilson to represent them in leasing the property.
The deal represents the second major recent acqusition of office properties in and around Innsbrook. In August, Highwoods Properties Inc. sold 11 buildings of about 359,000 square feet to two buyers for $40.7 million.2014-11-10T16:58:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/GCSP_4.jpg
Gelati Celesti expands to Short Pump
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gelati-celesti-expands-to-short-pump#When:16:20:00ZGelati Celesti, a local ice cream company, will celebrate its 30th anniversary with the opening of a third location at The Corner at Short Pump in Henrico County.
The new store at 11805 W. Broad St. will open to the public on Thursday, Nov. 20. Company officials will be serving handmade ice cream along with a toast during a private party at the new location on Nov. 19.
Peter Edwards started the company in 1984. It opened its first location at Gold's Gym Plaza at 8906 West Broad Street. Edwards sold the business to a longtime friend, Steve Rosser, in 2010. Since then, Rosser added another location in Bon Air at the Stony Point Shopping Center and an ice cream truck.
In addition, 25 Richmond restaurants and two Tazza Kitchen locations outside the state carry Gelati Celesti.2014-11-10T16:20:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/1800_Coyote_Dr-PHOTO-Main1.jpg
TMJ Storage buys industrial property in Chesterfield County for $1 million
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tmj-storage-buys-industrial-property-in-chesterfield-county-for-1-million#When:15:48:00ZTMJ Storage purchased a 21,144-square-foot industrial property on 2.2 acres from Village Bank for $1 million and will occupy the premises for its business. The property is located at 1800 Coyote Drive in Chesterfield County.
Scott Douglas and Richard L. Thalhimer of Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer handled the sale negotiations on behalf of the seller.
The region’s industrial market saw a fairly active third quarter with a slight reduction in the
overall vacancy rate to just below 10 percent, according to a market report from the Richmond office of Colliers.
Currently about 1.8 million square feet of new space is under construction, with the majority of the projects being build-to-suit.
Colliers said the region is seeing good leasing momentum in the warehouse/distribution sector, which is becoming increasingly tight as the metro area becomes a hub of construction for new
distribution centers for companies like Amazon, Medline, Lumber Liquidators and The Vitamin Shoppe.
Virginia’s central location on the East Coast along with key interstate highways and the Port of Virginia are attributes attractive to Internet retailers
looking to move products quickly to their customers.2014-11-10T15:48:00+00:00
Adriana Karaboutis to join Advance Auto board
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/adriana-karaboutis-to-join-advance-auto-board#When:21:26:00ZRoanoke-based Advance Auto Parts Inc. has named Adriana “Andi” Karaboutis to its board of directors.
Karaboutis is executive vice president, technology and business solutions, at Biogen Idec, a biotechnology company based in
Cambridge, Mass. Her board appointment will take effect on Feb. 10.
Karaboutis joined Biogen Idec in September. She previously was vice president and global chief information officer at Dell Inc.
Before joining Dell in 2010, she spent more than 20 years at General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. in various IT and business operations leadership positions.
Advance Auto is the largest automotive aftermarket parts provider in North America, operating stores in 49 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Canada. The company has about 75,000 employees.2014-11-07T21:26:00+00:00
Tysons Corner-based Cvent acquires hotel sales-intelligence software company
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/tysons-corner-based-cvent-acquires-hotel-sales-intelligence-software-compan#When:21:13:00ZTysons Corner-based Cvent Inc., an event management software company, has acquired Decision Street, an Atlanta-based hotel sales-intelligence software company.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Cvent said the acquisition boosts its effort to help hoteliers better manage group business opportunities.
The company offers software to event planners for online event registration, venue selection, event management, mobile apps for events, e-mail marketing and web surveys.
Cvent also provides hotels with a targeted advertising platform designed to reach event planners looking for venues
The company said Decision Street’s technology will give hoteliers valuable data analytics, allowing hotel sales teams to focus on the group-booking leads based on inventory, demand, and profitability.
“Group business can represent a third or more of the revenue for a hotel or venue, yet existing systems for managing and scoring group opportunities are complicated for the user and lack decision support,” Jeffrey Emenecker, CEO of Decision Street, said in a statement. “We have studied the problem and are building technology to make the hotelier’s life easier so that sales teams can spend more time selling and make smarter group booking decisions.”
In 2013, an estimated $6.5 billion of group meeting business was sourced through the Cvent Supplier Network, encompassing approximately 1.2 million total request for proposals.
The network currently includes more than 218,000 hotels and venues in more than 175 countries that can be searched and filtered based on more than 200 characteristics and data fields.
Cvent has more than 1,450 employees and more than 12,650 customers worldwide. The company held an initial public offering in August, raising $117 million. Its shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.2014-11-07T21:13:00+00:00
Universal Corp. raises dividend for 44th consecutive time
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/universal-corp.-raises-dividend-for-44th-consecutive-time#When:20:56:00ZRichmond-based Universal Corp. has increased its quarterly dividend on its common stock by 1 cent to 52 cents a share.
The move marks the 44th consecutive dividend increase for the leaf tobacco company.
The dividend is payable Feb. 9 to common shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 12.
The dividend increase represents an annualized rate of $2.08 per share and a yield of approximately 4.6 percent based on the $44.76 closing price on Nov. 5.
Universal operates in more than 30 countries. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31 were $2.5 billion.2014-11-07T20:56:00+00:00
Pediatric Specialists of Virginia names its first chief executive officer
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/pediatric-specialists-of-virginia-names-its-first-chief-executive-officer#When:20:54:00ZFairfax-based Pediatric Specialists of Virginia (PSV) has named Dr. Leon E. Moores its first chief executive officer.
Other members of PSV’s C-suite are Gregg R. Florentin, chief operating officer; Dr. Jeffrey Hanway, chief surgical officer; and Dr. Ian Leibowitz, chief medical officer.
PSV is a joint venture between Inova Health System and Children’s National Health System.
Moores is a pediatric neurosurgeon and the medical director of pediatric neurosciences for the Inova Health System.
His career has included service as chief of neurosurgery at Walter Reed, chief of the Department of Surgery at Walter Reed, deputy commander for integration at the National Naval Medical Center during the Walter Reed/Bethesda merger, and commander of the Fort Meade Medical Activity, a health-care system with 14 facilities in four states region. He has deployed twice to combat zones.
Moores is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, a professor of neurosurgery at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and a professor of surgery and pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University School of Medicine.2014-11-07T20:54:00+00:00
Canup to chair Hirschler Fleischer’s tax practice group
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/canup-to-chair-hirschler-fleischers-tax-practice-group#When:20:50:00ZJames W.C. “Jamie” Canup has joined Richmond-based Hirschler Fleischer as a partner chairing the firm’s tax practice group.
Canup’s career has included service as in the chief counsel’s office of the Internal Revenue Service and positions at major law firms in New York, Washington, D.C., and Richmond.
His practice focuses on pass-through entities, such as LLCs and partnerships, real estate investment trust (REITs), corporate transactions and tax-exempt organizations. He also advises issuers and investment managers on qualified tuition programs (529 Plans) and municipal fund securities.
Canup earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, his law degree from Washington & Lee University, and his LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.2014-11-07T20:50:00+00:00
Gannett names president and CEO of Cars.com
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/gannett-names-president-and-ceo-of-cars.com#When:18:47:00ZMcLean-based Gannett has named Alex Vetter president and CEO of Cars.com. Gannett bought the site, which provides car shoppers with independent research, for $1.8 billion earlier this year.
Vetter, who is based Chicago, previously was Cars.com’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. He replaces Cars.com’s former CEO Dan Jauernig who has joined a major financial services firm and is moving to Toronto to be closer to his family.
According to Gannett, Vetter helped Cars.com grow from a startup to a company that employs more than 1,300 people. He has served in a variety of roles at Cars.com including vice president of sales; director of product development and operations; manager of affiliate operations and manager of business development for Classified Ventures.
Vetter is also a technology investor and sits on the boards of several digital technology companies. In 2007, he was named to Crain's Business "40 Under 40.”
Besides acquiring Cars.com, Gannett also announced this year plans to spin-off its publishing business from its broadcast and digital side.2014-11-07T18:47:00+00:00
Work begins on $38 million medical building in Henrico County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/work-begins-on-38-million-medical-building-in-henrico-county#When:22:02:00ZThe Stanley Shield Partnership has broken ground on a $38 million health-care development at Towne Center West in Henrico County’s Short Pump corridor.
The Henrico-County based company is developing the first phase of the Short Pump Medical Center complex near Short Pump Town Center in cooperation with the Virginia Beach-based Breeden Co. real estate firm.
Stanley Shield said in a news release that it expects the 110,000-square-foot, five-story medical building to be completed by the end of next year. A major tenant will be VCU Health System, which plans to have a multi-specialty physician practice in the building.
The architect for the project is Ratio PC. Willmark Engineering will serve as the site engineer, and Hourigan Construction is the general contractor.
Towne Center West is part of a Breeden Co. master development that includes more than 800 apartment units.
Tenants at the 40-acre center include The Hilton Hotel, Virginia Eye Institute and Ethan Allen, a furniture store. BJ’s Brewhouse & Restaurant, a restaurant and brewing chain from southern California, opened a few weeks ago.
Stanley Shield said the development’s second phase would include two parcels adjacent to the VCU Health System building. The company plans to develop a 75,000 square-foot, three-story building on the land, bringing the entire medical development to 185,000 square feet.
Construction on that project is expected to begin in summer 2015.2014-11-06T22:02:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Dulles_Metro_Center_Pinkard.jpeg
Dulles Metro Center in Herndon has new owners
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dulles-metro-center-in-herndon-has-new-owners#When:21:20:00ZThe Pinkard Group, based in Bethesda, Md., and Principal Real Estate Investors have acquired Dulles Metro Center, an 11-story, 219,000-square-foot Class A office building in Herndon. The price was not disclosed.
Dulles Metro Center, located at 2325 Dulles Corner Boulevard, is close to the upcoming Innovation Center Metro Station along Metrorail’s new Silver Line.
DEKA Immobilien Investment GMBH, a German investment fund that purchased the building back in 2004, has been seeking buyers for the property for about two years. According to the new owners, the property is 75 percent leased. The Pinkard Group and Principal Real Estate Investors said they plan to make investments in the property to enhance the building’s features and attract new tenants.Savills Studley's US Cross-Border Group advised Deka in the disposition.
The building offers expansive views of Dulles Airport to the west and Reston Town Center to the east. Completed in 2001, Dulles Metro Center is part of the Dulles Corner office park. The mixed-use office environment has full-service hotels, multiple food-service options and landscaped garden and lake features.
This was the second acquisition this year by The Pinkard Group in Northern Virginia, following its purchase in February of Lakeside III at Loudoun Tech.
“This acquisition follows our ongoing investment thesis of acquiring high quality office assets which will be the first to reap the benefits of a stronger fundamental leasing market over the medium term,” Bob Pinkard, principal and founder of The Pinkard Group, said in a statement.2014-11-06T21:20:00+00:00
Wolverine Advanced Materials to create 93 jobs in Montgomery County expansion
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/wolverine-advanced-materials-to-create-93-jobs-in-montgomery-county-expansi#When:21:18:00ZWolverine Advanced Materials will invest $10.6 million in expanding its specialty, rubber-coated materials manufacturing operation in Montgomery County.
The expansion is expected to create 93 jobs.
The company produces high-performance materials used in automotive and industrial noise reduction for brake and sealing applications.
The governor’s office said the company is adding manufacturing capacity to reach its key growth markets in China and India, using the Port of Virginia as a gateway for its exports. "Auto parts continue to be a top commodity moving through The Port of Virginia, and the health of the port and auto industry is important to the economic well-being of the nation and the Commonwealth because of jobs,” John F. Reinhart, CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, said in a statement.
The company has operated in Montgomery County for 40 years.
Wolverine, based in Dearborn, Mich., has offices in Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil and India.
Principally owned by Wynnchurch Capital Partners, Wolverine employs about 600 people worldwide.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Montgomery County with the project.
The company also will receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.2014-11-06T21:18:00+00:00
Carlyle Group affiliate sells $10 million shares of Booz Allen stock, shedding its majority stake
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/carlyle-group-affiliate-sells-10-million-shares-of-booz-allen-stock-sheddin#When:21:18:00ZBooz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. in McLean has announced the sale of 10 million shares of Class A common stock by an affiliate of The Carlyle Group, a Washington, D.C.-based private equity group.
Combined with an agreement by Booz Allen to repurchase another 1 million shares of Class A stock, the two transactions will reduce Carlyle’s majority stake in the defense contracting company to about 37 percent.
The last reported sale price of Booz Allen’s Class A common stock on Nov. 5, was $26.31 per share. That means Carlyle could make just over $263 million on the transaction.
Booz Allen said in its announcement that J.P. Morgan Securities LLC will offer for sale the shares from time to time in one or more transactions on the New York Stock Exchange, in the over-the-counter market and through negotiated transactions.
In addition, Booz Allen has agreed to repurchase 1 million shares of its Class A common in a private, non-underwritten transaction. The closing of the stock repurchase is contingent on the closing of the underwritten offering and is expected to close concurrently on or about Nov. 12.
Booz Allen Hamilton provides management consulting, technology, and engineering services to the U.S. government in defense, intelligence, and civil markets, and to major corporations, institutions and not-for-profit organizations. The company employs more than 22,000 people, and had revenue of $5.48 billion for the 12 months that ended on March 31.2014-11-06T21:18:00+00:00
McKesson Medical-Surgical to relocate headquarters, add 225 jobs
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mckesson-medical-surgical-to-relocate-headquarters-add-225-jobs#When:20:58:00ZMcKesson Medical-Surgical Inc., an Henrico County-based affiliate of health-care giant McKesson Corp.,
plans to relocate and expand its headquarters in the county, investing $10 million in capital expense and creating 225 new jobs.
The company will move its headquarters from 8741 Landmark Road near the intersection of Staples Mill and East Parham roads to 168,500 square feet in the six-story Deep Run III building on Mayland Drive in western Henrico. The building, which has 348,174 square feet of office space, once was part of the headquarters of now-defunct consumer electronics retailer Circuit City Stores Inc.
“This new, state-of-the-art headquarters will create a collaborative workspace that helps us attract and retain the top talent we need to grow our business and better serve our customers as we work to improve healthcare in the U.S.,” Stanton McComb, the president of McKesson Medical-Surgical, said in a statement.
Glen Allen-based real estate asset management firm Markel|Eagle Partners acquired the Deep Run building in 2011 and recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $500,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Henrico County with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
McKesson, which has operated in Henrico since 1998, currently has nearly 600 employees in the Richmond area, according to the governor’s office. The medical-surgical division’s services include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, health-care information technology, and business and clinical services.
The parent company, McKesson Corp., based in San Francisco, currently ranks 15 on the Fortune 500 list of the nation’s largest publicly traded companies.
Other tenants in Deep Run III include Travelers Insurance, Essex Bank, Digital Benefit Advisors, Acision LLC and and Appendix R Solution.2014-11-06T20:58:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Harbour_View_Photo.jpg
CBRE|Hampton Roads to lease and manage Suffolk medical building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cbrehampton-roads-to-lease-and-manage-suffolk-medical-building#When:19:24:00ZCBRE|Hampton Roads has been selected by Harbour View Associates LLC to provide leasing and property management services for the Harbour View Professional Center in Suffolk.
The firm closed on the purchase of the four-building medical and professional office park on Oct. 31.
The four single-story, Class-A office buildings total 45,500 square feet. Tenants include medical and professional offices, with floor plans offering suites ranging from 1,000 to 11,500 square feet
The center is located close to Bon Secours Health Center and Sentara Health Center along with numerous retail and restaurant options.
Gresh Wall and Bryan Gurnee of CBRE|Hampton Roads are representing the landlord in leasing transactions. Judi Knouf will handle property management.2014-11-06T19:24:00+00:00
Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer announces lease renewals in Hampton Roads
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/cushman-wakefield-thalhimer-announces-lease-renewals-in-hampton-roads#When:16:31:00ZPRA Holding I LLC, which owns and leases office space and other real estate properties, renewed its lease for 32,688 square feet in Net Center at 5200 W. Mercury Blvd. in Hampton. Teresa Nettles handled the lease negotiations.
Eurpac Service Inc. renewed its lease of 22,600 square feet at 1347 Diamond Springs Rd., Virginia Beach. Patrick Mumey and Tony Weiss handled the lease negotiations.
Hampton Roads Transit renewed a15,000-square-foot lease at 3404 Mangrove Ave., Norfolk. Mumey and Geoff Poston handled the lease negotiations.
Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia expanded into 12,830 square feet at Washington Square Shopping Center at 5536 George Washington Highway in Yorktown. Chris Rouzie handled the lease negotiations.
The Marksman renewed its lease of 10,000 square feet at 520 Industrial Park Drive in Newport News. Kenneth Penrose Jr. handled the lease negotiations.2014-11-06T16:31:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/IMG_1701.JPG
Becknell Industrial completes acquisition of distribution facility in Henrico County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/becknell-industrial-completes-acquisition-of-distribution-facility-in-henri#When:20:02:00ZChicago-based Becknell Industrial has completed the purchase of a 116,000-square-foot, multi-tenant distribution facility in the Airport Distribution Center in Henrico County's East End.
Built in 2008, the building has 30 truck docks, three drive-in doors, and additional trailer parking on site. The facility is close to Richmond International Airport and Interstates 295 and 95. Situated on 6.8 acres, the existing building is fully leased to MeadWestvaco, Batesville Casket and Forward Air Solutions.
The remaining 39.9 acres include three pad-ready sites that can support an additional 564,500 square feet of planned new development.
"This acquisition is a great addition to our portfolio as it meets our criteria of modern, well-located buildings in strong submarkets," Pete Anderson, Becknell's executive vice president of investments, said in a statement. "In addition, we were pleased with the opportunity to purchase pad ready industrial land in a market that lacks Class A inventory."
Clifford B. Porter of Porter Realty Co. in Richmond handled the sale on behalf of the seller, Birmingham-based Graham & Co., which purchased the site in 2006. Becknell Industrial has retained Porter Realty as its exclusive agent for future development.
According to Porter, the vacancy rate for Class A industrial property in the Richmond market is less than 6 percent, the lowest it has been in years. “I think that points to some new construction to meet demand. They are the only three pad-ready sites in the airport market, and that area is typically one of the stronger markets for warehousing.”2014-11-05T20:02:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Beacon_Theatre.jpg
Beacon Theatre renovation in Hopewell wins top honor
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/beacon-theatre-renovation-in-hopewell-wins-top-honor#When:19:39:00ZThe Beacon Theatre, Commonwealth Architects’ rehabilitation project for the city of Hopewell, has been selected to receive an Honor Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Virginia Society AIA.
The $4.1 million historic rehabilitation tax credit project emerged as the best in the region, earning the only Honor Award in its category.
“The renovation of the theater and the adaptive reuse of the adjacent building demonstrates comprehensive preservation – careful research, beautiful restoration and thoughtful adaptive reuse in support of new programmatic requirements and economic realities – which will serve as a catalyst for continued downtown revitalization,” the awards jury said in its remarks.
Built as a downtown movie house in 1928, The Beacon Theatre had served as a community gathering place for Hopewell residents until its closing in 1981.
The renovation returned the dilapidated building to its former splendor, while converting it into a contemporary performance venue. Since reopening, the theater has attracted sold-out crowds.
This year’s juries gave 12 Honor Awards and six Merit Awards. Award categories include architecture, contextual design, historic preservation, interior design and residential design. The winning projects were selected from a pool of 155 submissions.2014-11-05T19:39:00+00:00
Lindenburg Industry will invest $113 million in a U.S. manufacturing operation in Appomattox
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lindenburg-industry-llc-will-invest-113-million-in-a-u.s.-manufacturing-ope#When:18:47:00ZLindenburg Industry LLC said Wednesday it will invest $113 million to set up its first U.S. manufacturing operation in Appomattox. The company, a subsidiary of a Chinese firm, said the project would create 349 new jobs in the area.
Lindenburg will establish an industrial honeycomb manufacturing operation where it will make industrial environmental control components used in clean air emissions. Lindenburg’s parent company is EagleRide Investment Holdings Ltd., a publicly-traded company in Hong Kong that focuses on energy, energy conservation and environmental protection related technologies.
“The U.S is characterized by low political risk, as well as an advanced level of legal protections for doing business and making investments,” Stella Li, CEO of Lindenburg Industry LLC and chief technology officer of EagleRide Investment Holdings, said in a statement.
According to Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office, the project is the first new company announcement in Appomattox in 15 years and the largest in the town since Thomasville Furniture began construction in 1972.
McAuliffe approved a $1.4 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund for the project. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission also approved $1.17 million for the project. Lindenburg will receive benefits from the Port of Virginia Economic and Infrastructure Development Grant Program. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will come from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
McAuliffe’s office says the announcement is a result of the governor’s meeting with company officials in Beijing last month during a trade mission to Asia. Virginia competed against North Carolina for the project.2014-11-05T18:47:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/image006.jpeg
Plug-and-play offices on the rise?
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/plug-and-play-offices-on-the-rise#When:18:28:00ZThe JACK Group, a collaboration of The JCR Cos., CAS Riegler, and Snead Construction, has transformed an Alexandria office building into The Agency at 950. It offers more than 50 “plug-and-play” executive office and co-working suites designed for consultants, small businesses and companies seeking temporary office space.
JACK said in a news release that it has leased space to such diverse businesses as government contractors, photographers, event planners and information technology firms.
The project’s offices allow tenants to enjoy the building’s amenities along with their own personal office space. Seven co-working offices are designed to accommodate six to 10 users within the same organization.
Drop-in spaces also are available. The smallest office suite is 65 square feet while the largest office in the mezzanine area is 2,000 square feet. Prices are based upon locations and whether offices are furnished, with average asking prices $75 to 85 per square foot per year.
Shared building amenities include a lounge area and café, conference rooms, event space, outdoor patios and on-site covered parking.
Located at 950 N. Washington St., The Agency is close to the Braddock Road Metro as well as the shops, restaurants and services of Old Town Alexandria.
JACK acquired the 26,347-square-foot building earlier this year from the American Association of Physician Assistants.
“We are pleased to offer well-located, competitively priced co-working and executive office space in Old Town Alexandria,” said Joe Reger, managing partner of The JCR Cos. “With the success of this project, we are currently focusing on acquiring additional unique, infill office buildings in the Washington, D.C. area,” Reger added.
The JACK Group was created in 2013 as a collaboration of three Washington, D.C. real estate firms: The JCR Cos., CAS Riegler Cos. and RS Snead Construction. Combining JCR’s retail experience with CAS Riegler’s residential development expertise and Snead’s construction management capabilities, the group offers a range of real estate services including leasing, acquisition, development, and construction.2014-11-05T18:28:00+00:00
Overhaul of aircraft carrier enters new phase at Newport News Shipbuilding
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/overhaul-of-aircraft-carrier-enters-new-phase-at-newport-news-shipbuilding#When:18:09:00ZThe $4.47 billion refueling and overhaul of the USS Abraham has entered a new phase at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News.
The nuclear aircraft carrier has been moved from the shipyard’s dry docks to an outfitting berth in the James River where it will undergo final outfitting and testing. The move marks the end of the dry-dock phase of the carrier's mid-life refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH).
The carrier arrived at Newport News Shipbuilding in March 2013 for its RCOH and is on track to return to service in 2016.
"With Lincoln in the water, shipbuilders and sailors can focus on the final restoration, outfitting and testing of the ship's systems,” Chris Miner, Newport News' vice president of in-service aircraft carrier programs,
aid in a statement. “Moving her to the outfitting berth marks the point when the crew move-aboard process begins, and we bring the ship back to life."
During the dry dock phase, the ship underwent extensive repair and construction work. Shipbuilders replaced hundreds of tanks and replaced thousands of valves, pumps and piping components.
On the outside, workers painted the ship's hull, updated the propeller shafts and installed refurbished propellers.
During the next 24 months, workers will complete the overhaul and installation of the ship's major components and test its systems.
The ship’s living quarters also will be modernized. The first group of sailors began moving back onto the carrier on Oct. 23.2014-11-05T18:09:00+00:00
PH International to invest $4.5 million to expand headquarters operation
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/ph-international-to-invest-4.5-million-to-expand-headquarters-operation#When:17:11:00ZPH International LLC, a manufacturer and distributor of home decor and garden products, plans to invest $4.5 million to consolidate operations of its subsidiary, Plow and Hearth LLC, and a sister company, VivaTerra LLC, at its Madison County facility.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that the company will add 84,000 square feet and create 25 new jobs in the expansion, which will include adding warehouse storage for Plow and Hearth, as well as headquarters staff for VivaTerra.
“Growing our existing business is a key economic development strategy for the commonwealth,” Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, said in a statement. “We are excited about PH International’s growth in Madison County and the creation of new jobs paying above the average prevailing wage for the region.”
Starting as a small store in Madison in 1980, PH International has become one of the largest employers in the county. The company’s portfolio now includes the flagship brand Plow & Hearth, plus five other brands, including Wind & Weather, HearthSong, Magic Cabin, Problem Solvers and Reuseit.
The Plow & Hearth brand has 24 retail locations located throughout the mid-Atlantic, from North Carolina New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including a store in the Short Pump area of Henrico County.
In 2010, the owners of Evergreen Enterprises, based in Richmond, purchased PH International.
Evergreen’s owners, Ting Xu and Frank Qiu, came to the U.S. from China when they were in college and made Virginia their home.
They started Evergreen in 1993 when Ting and her mother began making and selling garden flags at the Virginia State Fair. Combined, Plow and Hearth, Evergreen Enterprises, and the recently acquired VivaTerra (an eco-friendly home décor catalog and online brand) now represent a global wholesale and retail enterprise.
“In Madison we have access to a talented, dedicated workforce, beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and we have long-standing, strong ties to the community,” Ting Xu, CEO of PH International, said in a statement.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Madison County to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. McAuliffe approved a $100,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund. The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide additional funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities.2014-11-05T17:11:00+00:00
Orbital announces plan for NASA’s commercial resupply program and Antares launch vehicle
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/orbital-announces-plan-for-nasas-commercial-resupply-program-and-antares-la#When:16:20:00ZEight days after the explosion of one of its Antares rockets, Orbital Sciences Corp. announced plans to fulfill its contract commitments under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) program as well as to accelerate an upgrade of the Antares medium-class launcher’s main propulsion system.
Under the new approach and in line with Orbital’s existing contract, the company said Wednesday all remaining cargo would be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of 2016. There will be no cost increase to NASA, and only minor adjustments will be needed to the cargo manifest in the near term.
“Orbital is taking decisive action to fulfill our commitments to NASA in support of safe and productive operations of the Space Station. While last week’s Antares failure was very disappointing to all of us, the company is already implementing a contingency plan to overcome this setback. We intend to move forward safely but also expeditiously to put our CRS cargo program back on track and to accelerate the introduction of our upgraded Antares rocket,” David W. Thompson, Orbital’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Orbital said its Antares launch failure Accident Investigation Board (AIB) has conducted a preliminary review of telemetry and video data and substantial debris from the Antares rocket and its Cygnuspayload has been collected.
While the board’s work continues, preliminary analysis points to a probable turbo pump-related failure in one of the two Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ26 stage-one main engines. As a result, the company said use of these engines for the Antares vehicle likely would be discontinued.
To maintain the CRS program’s critical ISS supply line, Orbital plans an early introduction of its previously selected Antares propulsion system upgrade in 2016. This will be preceded by one or two non-Antares launches of the company’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the ISS in 2015-2016, employing the spacecraft’s compatibility with various launch vehicles.
Orbital says its expects repairs to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) launch complex at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore to be done quickly, allowing launch operations to continue at Wallops Island with the upgraded Antares beginning in 2016.
As for the financial impact of the rocket explosion on the company, Thompson said, “Exact financial impacts to Orbital will depend on which of several specific options for near-term launches is selected, but they are not expected to be material on an annual basis in 2015. In all cases, no significant adverse effects are projected in 2016 or future years, in part because the cost of the Antares propulsion system upgrade was already part of our internal investment plan during that time,” he added.
After last week’s fiery explosion, Orbital’s stock fell in value by nearly to 17 percent to $25.27 per share. On Wednesday morning, it was trading at $26.01 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.
The company, based in Dulles, has a $1.9 billion contract from NASA to make eight cargo deliveries to the space station using Antares and the company's Cygnus spacecraft. Before last week’s explosion, Orbital had completed two of those missions without incident.
Another company, California-based SpaceX, also has a contract to take cargo to the space station for NASA. The agency is paying SpaceX $1.6 billion to fly 12 unmanned supply missions using the firm's Dragon capsule and Falcon 9 rocket. SpaceX has flown four of these missions, and all have been successful.
Orbital’s explosion was one of two last week in the private spaceflight industry. On Oct. 31, a Virgin Galactic SpaceShip, built to take paying tourists for rides into space, crashed during a test flight in California. The accident killed one of the pilots and another was seriously injured. An investigation is ongoing to determine that cause of that explosion.2014-11-05T16:20:00+00:00
Alexandria-based Resonant Legal Media acquires Miami-based TrialGraphix
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/alexandria-based-resonant-legal-media-acquires-miami-based-trialgraphix#When:21:00:00ZAlexandria-based trial presentation consultant Resonant Legal Media has acquired Miami-based TrialGraphix.
The combined company, RLM | TrialGraphix, now has more than 90 professionals offering law firms graphics and technology services.
The post-acquisition footprint of RLM | TrialGraphix includes offices in Alexandria, Miami, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Princeton, N.J.
The company said that the majority of its customers come from the ranks of the AmLaw 100, American Lawyer‘s list of the nation’s top-grossing law firms.
RLM | TrialGraphix supports more than 60 trials a year. In a typical engagement, its employees work closely with a legal team to develop and deliver persuasive trial presentations — graphics, illustrations, videos and animations for jurors and for judges.2014-11-04T21:00:00+00:00
President of Virginia Society of CPAs leads national group
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/president-of-virginia-society-of-cpas-leads-national-group#When:20:39:00ZStephanie Peters, the president and CEO of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants, has been installed as president of the board of directors of the Certified Public Accountants Society Executives Association (CPA/SEA).
Formed more than 40 years ago, CPA/SEA is made up of all state CPA society chief executive officers/executive directors throughout the U.S. Through its strategic and operational values of leadership, integrity, collaboration and exploration, CPA/SEA enables members to choose informed courses of action on professional issues affecting CPAs. CPA/SEA’s strategic plan and planning process provide organizational direction and help CPA/SEA members prepare for the future.
CPA/SEA has a working board of 10 people that meets on a regular basis to oversee operations and provide leadership to the organization. Most CPA/SEA programs and services are made possible through the work of a variety of task forces supported by CPA/SEA members.
“I am honored to represent the CPA profession and the state societies which are dedicated to enhancing the success of all certified public accountants by promoting professionalism and advocating on behalf of the interest of their members,” Peters said in a statement.2014-11-04T20:39:00+00:00
Leidos Holdings Inc. names executive vice president for business development and strategy
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/leidos-holdings-inc.-names-executive-vice-president-for-business-developmen#When:20:07:00ZReston-based Leidos Holdings Inc. has named Michael E. Leiter executive vice president for business development and strategy, effective Nov. 17.
Leiter will be responsible for business development, strategy development and execution, communications, government affairs, and mergers and acquisition activities. He will work out of the company's headquarters in Reston.
Leiter has worked for the data-analysis software firm Palantir Technologies as counselor to the CEO.
He previously served as director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He was nominated by President George W. Bush and sworn in to this role on June 12, 2008, after serving as the acting director since November 2007.
He was one of the few national security officials asked to continue in his role by President Barack Obama in 2009. He continued to serve in this capacity until July 2011.
Leiter served as a U.S. Navy flight officer from 1991 to 1997, flying EA-6B Prowlers, and participating in U.S., NATO and UN operations in the former Yugoslavia and Iraq.
He received a law degree from Harvard University, where he was president of The Harvard Law Review, and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.
Leidos has 22,000 employees and had annual revenues of approximately $5.77 billion for its fiscal year ended Jan 31.2014-11-04T20:07:00+00:00
Dominion Asks FERC to begin environmental review on supply header project
Dominion submitted a pre-filing request Tuesday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking the commission to begin its environmental review of the proposed $500 million Supply Header Project.
Dominion’s Transmission subsidiary would build and operate the project, which would provide an additional 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day between the facilities of Dominion Transmission and the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline, primarily through looping along existing pipeline rights of way and additional compression at existing stations.
According to Dominion, the Supply Header Project would increase access to natural gas supplies from the Marcellus and Utica basins – and other upstream sources – to Virginia and North Carolina end users.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a separate joint-venture project among Dominion and three other major U.S. energy companies – Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources.
"The Supply Header project is another example of the many opportunities Dominion has to help fill the significant need for new infrastructure to bring prolific supplies throughout the Marcellus and Utica basins to market," Diane Leopold, president of the company's Dominion Energy business unit, said in a statement.
The extensive FERC review process that begins with pre-filing solicits input from numerous local, state and federal entities and private citizens. Many issues such as public safety, air quality, water resources, threatened and endangered species and reasonable alternatives are examined. The project will need the approvals of federal, state and local environmental regulatory agencies before construction can begin.
Dominion said it expects to file its FERC application in September 2015, receive the FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity in the summer of 2016 and begin construction shortly thereafter.2014-11-04T20:07:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/UniononQueenRendering.jpeg
Groundbreaking held for 12-story apartment tower in Arlington
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/groundbreaking-will-be-held-wednesday-for-12-story-apartment-tower-in-arlin#When:19:57:00ZThe Bozzuto Group, in partnership with Wesley Housing, Arlington County, Capital One Bank, Hudson Housing Capital, Walker & Dunlop and the Virginia Housing Development Authority held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 5, at to officially begin the redevelopment of the Pierce Queen apartment community in Arlington.
The project will transform the existing apartments into an transit-oriented community named "Union on Queen, "located at 1515 N. 16th Street.
When complete in 2016, the mixed-income community will provide Arlington County with 78 affordable apartments and 115 market-rate apartments in a location convenient to transportation, employment and recreation.
Two of the historic garden-style buildings in the existing Pierce Queen apartment community will be renovated, housing 12 apartment homes, and the remaining 181 residences will be located in a new 12-story high-rise. Amenities will include a clubroom with outdoor patio, fitness room, business center and rooftop deck with outdoor kitchen and terraces.
Officials attending Wednesday’s ceremony included Toby Bozzuto, president, The Bozzuto Group; Jay Fisette, chairman, Arlington County Board of Supervisors; Edmund Delany, senior vice president, Community Development Finance, Capital One Bank; and Shelley Murphy, president/CEO, Wesley Housing.
"Amenity-rich, transit-oriented housing that is both affordable and well integrated into its community further catalyzes Arlington's economic vitality," Bozzuto said in a statement.
Mersen USA to expand in Salem with a $5.7 million investment
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mersen-usa-to-expand-in-salem-with-a-5.7-million-investment#When:16:06:00ZMersen USA, a subsidiary of France-based Mersen SA, will expand operations in Salem with a $5.7 million investment that will relocate one of the company’s business divisions and create 50 new jobs.
The Salem facility designs and manufactures graphite and silicon carbide heat for highly corrosive and high-temperature fluids and skid systems. The project will expand Mersen’s skid systems capacity, as well as relocate the company’s reactive metal equipment manufacturing business from California to Salem.
Speaking about Tuesday’s announcement, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement that, “Creating good jobs in the advanced-manufacturing sector is a central part of growing and diversifying Virginia’s economy. This announcement is significant for a locality that is aggressively trying to rebound economically …”
Currently, the Mersen plant employs about 80 people.
“Mersen USA chose Salem for this expansion of our systems and relocation of our U.S. reactive metals equipment fabrication businesses because the city of Salem has always provided a business friendly environment, and the community provides skilled and dedicated employees,” said Shawn Malone, president, Mersen USA, Chemical Equipment Division. “We have been operating in Salem since 1986 without regret, and are especially proud of recently achieving 2,000 days without a lost time accident and expect to pass our previous record of 3,000 days as we expand and grow. Mersen has not achieved this sort of safety record anywhere else in the world …”
Mersen USA designs solutions that enable clients to optimize manufacturing processes in sectors such as energy, transportation, electronics, chemical, pharmaceutical and process industries.
The parent company has manufacturing facilities in 35 countries, employs more than 6,000, and reported 2013 sales of 739 million euros ($628 million). Established in 1940, Mersen USA has nine production sites in seven states.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Salem and the Roanoke Regional Partnership to secure the project for Virginia. Gov. McAuliffe approved a $140,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund.
The Virginia Jobs Investment Program will provide funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities.2014-11-04T16:06:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Tom_Hudson_headshot.jpg
HHHunt hires Tom Hudson as land acquisition manager
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/hhhunt-hires-tom-hudson-as-land-acquisition-manager#When:16:02:00ZHHHunt said Tuesday that Thomas N. Hudson has joined the company as a land acquisition manager based in Washington, D.C. He will focus on identifying and securing available sites for the development of assisted living and market rate apartment communities in the greater Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas.
Hudson brings more than 20 years of land acquisition experience to the company. He will negotiate and contract land for new developments and manage the development process for new projects.
“We see a great deal of growth potential in the D.C. and Baltimore regions,” Daniel T. Schmitt, president and COO of HHHunt, said in a statement.
Before joining HHHunt, Hudson served as land acquisition manager for Riberia Development and director of land acquisition for M/I Homes of D.C.
He is active in a number of professional associations, including the Maryland Building Industry Association and the Urban Land Institute.
HHHunt is a real estate developer with properties in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Maryland. With primary offices in Blacksburg, Richmond, and Raleigh, N.C., HHHunt employs more than 1,800 people. In addition to a large residential portfolio, HHHunt has built and operates over 20 assisted living residences and owns/manages nearly 7,000 apartments homes.2014-11-04T16:02:00+00:00
Fusion acquires Herndon-based PingTone Communications
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fusion-acquires-herndon-based-pingtone-communications#When:20:36:00ZNew York-based Fusion, a provider of cloud communications, connectivity and computing services, has closed a $10 million acquisition of Herndon-based PingTone Communications Inc.
Fusion purchased all of the outstanding shares of stock of PingTone, a provider of integrated cloud-based communications services.
Founded in 2001, PingTone had annual revenue $8.1 million as of June 30 and pro forma adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $2.1 million.
The PingTone transaction is Fusion's third acquisition in 24 months. The acquisition will be immediately accretive to Fusion's EBITDA, the company said.
When PingTone is integrated into the company, Fusion expects to achieve approximately $950,000 in annual cost synergies and additional revenue growth from the cross-sale and up-sale of the companies' combined products and services.
The purchase price included $7.5 million in cash and $2.5 million in Fusion common stock. Of the $10 million, $5 million was funded by additional financing provided through the issuance of 5-year senior notes to Fusion's existing lenders — Praesidian Capital, Plexus Capital and United Insurance Company of America.2014-11-03T20:36:00+00:00
Hilton Worldwide rolls out mobile room keys in U.S. hotels
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/hilton-worldwide-rolls-out-mobile-room-keys-in-u.s.-hotels1#When:20:34:00ZHilton Worldwide, based in McLean, said Monday that by late spring of 2015, Hilton HHonors members staying at U.S. properties of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton brands can use their smartphones to access their rooms.
In July, Hilton Worldwide debuted digital check-in with room selection technology, now available at more than 3,700 hotels, and worldwide by the end of this year. The technology enables Hilton HHonors members to check in via their HHonors profile on desktop, mobile or tablet and choose the exact location of their room – right down to the room number. Mobile-enabled room key goes a step further in simplifying guests’ journey, allowing travelers to check-in, choose their room and access their room upon arrival entirely via the HHonors app on their smartphone.
“Our mobile room key technology gives our guests greater choice and control over their entire experience,” Geraldine Calpin, global head of digital at Hilton Worldwide, said in a statement. “Never before has a hotel guest been able to check-in, select their room from a digital floor plan, request items to be ready upon arrival, and then access their room via their smartphone and find it exactly the way they requested it. We’re truly revolutionizing travel by making the stay experience more convenient.”
Hilton said it is rolling out the technology in three phases across all U.S. properties of four brands:
Pilot testing at 10 U.S. properties in early 2015.
Mobile room key will be enabled at all U.S. properties of Conrad Hotels & Resorts beginning early 2015.
Rollout will continue across the U.S. properties of Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Canopy by Hilton properties beginning in summer 2015.
The technology extends beyond guest room access. First available on the Apple and Android versions of the Hilton HHonors mobile app, guests can use a smartphone to access other areas of each property that require a room key, such as the fitness center, executive floors, elevators and parking facilities.
Looking ahead to 2016, Hilton plans to deploy the technology across 11 brands globally.
The hospitality company said it is delivering as promised the global deployment of Hilton’s digital check-in with room selection functionality – one month ahead of schedule. “Room selection will be rolled out in its entirety by the end of this November at more than 4,100 properties globally,” said Calpin.
Since the launch of room selection this summer, one-third of eligible guests have already used the function and more than 90 percent were “satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the experience and said they would use it again.
“We are providing guests with the digital tools they desire. We expect high adoption of mobile room key, just as we’ve seen with room selection,” says Calpin. “We are reshaping the way guests dream, book and stay with us – helping earn their loyalty and affinity for our brands.”2014-11-03T20:34:00+00:00
Virginia hospitals announce plan for treating Ebola patients
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/virginia-hospitals-announced-plan-for-treating-ebola-patients#When:19:50:00ZA trade group representing Virginia hospitals on Monday announced how they would respond in treating an Ebola patient.
The Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) unveiled a “tiered response” for hospitals and health systems for treating suspected and confirmed Ebola cases in Virginia.
Under the plan, developed by VHHA in coordination with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), all Virginia hospitals will be prepared to screen, isolate and evaluate potential Ebola patients.
If a case of Ebola is confirmed, the plans says “the first recourse will be to determine if the patient can be transferred to a national bio-containment facility.” If that option is unavailable, the patient will be sent to either the University of Virginia Medical Center or VCU Medical Center, the state’s two designated Ebola treatment hospitals.
If a bed is not available at U.Va. or VCU, the patient will be handled at a hospital with the capability to treat an Ebola patient at the system or regional level.
In announcing the plan, VHHA indicated that hospitals will need financial help from the commonwealth and the federal government.
“Designating specific hospitals for the treatment of Ebola patients is a significant step in our preparedness efforts,” VHHA President and CEO Sean T. Connaughton said in a statement. “However, due to the high costs associated with treating Ebola patients, federal and state funding is essential to supporting the treatment of Ebola patients and the containment necessary to prevent the spread of the disease to the general public. The federal and state governments must be prepared to commit financial resources to support the preparation for, and treatment of, Ebola patients.”
U.Va. and VCU officials said their hospitals are prepared to treat Ebola patients. “The University of Virginia Medical Center is prepared to care for patients with this serious and potentially life-threatening disease,” Pamela Sutton-Wallace, CEO of the University of Virginia Medical Center, said in a statement. “This plan balances the public health needs of the commonwealth while recognizing the specialized care available at the University of Virginia needed to combat this disease.”
The Ebola hospital treatment plan builds on the federal Hospital Preparedness Program, which VHHA has overseen since 2002 through a partnership with VDH.
Other elements of the plan include:
• Because of the intense level of care needed for treating Ebola patients, a pool of qualified medical personnel and staff would be developed to supplement staffing for non-Ebola patient care at the designated hospitals;
• Training and educational initiatives also would be developed to ensure treatment facilities have adequate in-house medical staff to handle the workload associated with Ebola patients; and
• Equipment and other resources would need to be pooled to support hospitals treating suspected or confirmed Ebola patients.2014-11-03T19:50:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/Keller_PR_Final.jpg
Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore opens Lynchburg office
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/gentry-locke-rakes-moore-opens-lynchburg-office#When:19:10:00ZGentry Locke Rakes & Moore LLP, a Virginia law firm based in Roanoke, is opening a law office in Lynchburg. The firm’s newest partner, Herschel V. Keller, will head the Lynchburg office.
“We are growing our firm and enhancing services to clients in the business communities both in Lynchburg and along the Route 29 and 460 corridors,” Monica Monday, Gentry Locke’s managing partner said in a statement. “At Gentry Locke, we travel and use technology to reach clients in many states, but sometimes it’s important to have a permanent presence where a significant segment of our clients work and live.”
Keller represents businesses through his practice, which includes corporate and business Law, commercial construction law and litigation, employment law, and complex contract drafting and negotiation. Keller lives in Lynchburg, where he has practiced law for the past 15 years. He is active in the community, including serving as past president of the Central District Committee for the Virginia Associated General Contractors.
Keller earned his law degree from the University of Richmond’s T. C. Williams School of Law and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1997.2014-11-03T19:10:00+00:00
Site Selection magazine names Georgia top state for business in 2014
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/site-selection-magazine-names-georgia-top-state-for-business-in-2014#When:16:33:00ZSite Selection magazine has named Georgia as the state with the Top Business Climate for 2014. As revealed in its November issue, Georgia remained on top for the second consecutive year based on a survey of corporate real estate executives and an index of criteria based largely on the magazine’s proprietary New Plant Database.
Virginia came in at No. 10, the same ranking it received last year.
Louisiana jumped from sixth place in 2013 to second place in the 2014 ranking; North Carolina, Texas and Ohio round out the top five spots.
Virginia ranked fifth overall in the executive survey portion of the survey.
The corporate site selectors’ top location criteria for 2014 were transportation infrastructure, ease of permitting and regulatory procedures, existing work-force skills, land/building prices and supply, utility infrastructure, state and local tax scheme, flexibility of incentive programs and availability of incentive programs,
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal said in a statement issued by the magazine that a competitive business climate is one with "a foundation that makes businesses want to come to your state and want to grow in your state."
The governor told Site Selection that business leaders routinely cite Quick Start, Georgia's decades-old workforce training program; logistics assets, such as the growing Port of Savannah and global connections provided by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as reasons why the state attracts capital investment.
He also cited tax reform, such as elimination of the sales tax on energy used in manufacturing, as a factor that makes the Peach State a competitive business location.
Just as important, added Deal, is matching available work skills with job openings. His High Demand Career Initiative is designed to identify areas where job openings exist and where technical training and resources are being directed to ensure those openings are filled by Georgians.
Site Selection Editor-in-Chief Mark Arend said the magazine’s database of new and expanding facilities tracks private capital projects involving $1 million or more of investment, 50 or more new jobs or 20,000 or more square feet of new construction. “Georgia has the most of those so far in 2014," he said.
Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., is based in Atlanta.2014-11-03T16:33:00+00:00
Fortune 50 company pre-leases space in new data center in Loudoun County
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/fortune-50-company-pre-leases-space-in-new-data-center-in-loudoun-county#When:15:22:00ZData center provider CyrusOne has preleased more than 12,000 square feet of colocation space to a Fortune 50 company at its new facility in Loudon County. The company, whose name was not disclosed, also has a first right of refusal on another 8,000 square feet.
According to CyrusOne, the presale represents a third of the 30,000 square feet of colocation space that will come online for the first phase of a 124,000-square-foot building the company broke ground on in April.
“This is a current tenant in one of our other data-center facilities that appreciates the scalability and flexibility we can deliver, and has chosen to expand their footprint with us in Northern Virginia,” Tesh Durvasula, CyrusOne’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement.
The 124,000-square-foot building in Sterling also includes 15,000 square feet of Class A office space and up to 12 megawatts of critical load. At full build, the 14-acre site will accommodate a shell of about 400,000 square feet, with up to 240,000 square feet of colocation space, 36,000 square feet of Class A office space and up to 48 megawatts of critical load.
CyrusOne, based in Carrollton, Texas, specializes in enterprise data-center services and colocation solutions. It has more than two dozen data centers across the United States, Europe and Asia.2014-11-03T15:22:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/FFC_exhibition_rendering_for_media.jpg
First Freedom Center opening set for Jan. 16 in downtown Richmond
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/first-freedom-center-opening-set-for-jan.-16-in-downtown-richmond#When:14:56:00ZThe First Freedom Center at the northwest corner of Cary and 14th streets will open to the public at 3 p.m. on Jan. 16, National Religious Freedom Day, after a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.
The center occupies the site where the Virginia General Assembly in 1786 passed the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, whose author was Thomas Jefferson. The Virginia Statute ensured the right to freely choose religion (or none at all) and is considered a precursor to the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The 2,200-square-foot exhibition space will feature installations examining Americans’ experience with religious liberty, from its European roots through today.
The project is connected to two hotels, the Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott hotels, which are under construction and expected to open in December. The First Freedom Center and hotels are part of a $30 million project undertaken by Richmond-based Apple Reit Cos. that will add more than 200 new hotel rooms to the Richmond market.
The center’s exhibitions will occupy visible street-level space and will have access to the courtyard and meeting space for forums and conferences. The center will be open daily.
The First Freedom Center, formerly the Council for America’s First Freedom, has been operating since 1984.
“The First Freedom Center will fill a gap in the historic offerings in Richmond and shed a light on this incredibly important moment in history that happened right here,” First Freedom Center Chief Executive Officer Randolph W. Wyckoff said in a statement.2014-11-03T14:56:00+00:00
Halifax Regional Health System operations to adopt Sentara name
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/halifax-regional-health-system-operations-to-adopt-sentara-name#When:12:00:00ZBeginning next February, the various operations of a South Boston-based health system will be rebranded to reflect their connection to Sentara Healthcare.
Halifax Regional Health System (HRHS) became part of Norfolk-based Sentara in July 2013.
Starting Feb. 1, all entities of HRHS, including the hospital, primary and specialty physician practices, long term care and home health and hospice services, will include the Sentara brand.
The hospital will become Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital. Other name changes will follow suit, such as The Woodview and MeadowView Terrace, which will become Sentara Woodview and Sentara MeadowView Terrace, respectively.
“Becoming part of the Sentara brand family will further position Halifax as the regional leader in providing quality health care and as part of the larger Sentara Healthcare family,” Halifax Regional’s President Chris A. Lumsden said in a statement.
“The names may be changing, but we will still live by the core values which have brought us to this point, and we are still working to help residents of Southern Virginia live a healthier life,” he said.
Notable HHS projects this year have included development and expansion of surgical services, including general surgery and orthopedics; addition of a new MRI machine; approval for the addition of another procedure room in the hospital’s catheterization lab; the addition of 14 new providers to the medical staff; and development of a strategic plan through 2017.2014-11-01T12:00:00+00:00
Armada Hoffler Properties raises its outlook for 2014
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/armada-hoffler-properties-raises-its-outlook-for-2014#When:16:38:00ZVirginia Beach-based real estate company Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. on Friday raised its full-year financial expectations.
The company said it expects funds from operations (FFO) to reach $29 million, up from previous expectations of $27.5 million.
The estimates excludes the impact from non-stabilized projects and non-cash compensation.
The company said the increase was driven by better than expected leasing activity across its portfolio, better than expected construction activity and lower interest expense.
Full-year construction company segment gross profit is now expected to be approximately $4.6 million compared to the previous expectation of $4.3 million.
The company expected to deliver five development projects in 2014. All had been delivered as of Oct. 31, and the related leasing activity has been strong, the company said.
On Friday, Armada Hoffler also announced its results for the quarter ending Sept. 30.
Net income for the third quarter increased 120 percent to $2.8 million, or 8 cents per diluted share, compared to $1.3 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2013.
Funds from operations (FFO) for the third quarter increased 41 percent to $7.3 million, or 21 cents per diluted share, compared to $5.2 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2013.
Core FFO for the third quarter increased 15 percent to $7.5 million, or 22 cents per diluted share, compared to $6.6 million, or 20 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2013.2014-10-31T16:38:00+00:00
Mach37 Cyber Accelerator accepting applications for spring session
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/mach37-cyber-accelerator-accepting-applications-for-spring-session#When:16:36:00ZThe Mach37 Cyber Accelerator is seeking applicants for its spring session, which will begin March 2.
Mach37 is an intensive 90-day program for information security startups in which entrepreneurs are coached in all aspects of creating a sustainable and successful business.
Participants receive a $50,000 investment to develop and launch their ideas into the market.
Since Mach37 was begun last year by the Herndon-based Center for Innovative Technology, the program has accepted three classes of startups.
The Fall 2014 Cohort is currently underway. It will culminate with a Demo Day on Dec. 2.
With the graduation of the fall class, the program will have worked with 17 new cybersecurity companies.
To apply, visit http://www.mach37.com and fill out the online application. Evaluation of applications will begin in January, with final selections announced in February.2014-10-31T16:36:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/riverplacetower.jpgBuilt in 1967, the tower was the tallest building in Florida until 1972.
Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners acquires Florida office building
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/lingerfelt-commonwealth-partners-acquires-florida-office-building#When:16:13:00ZRichmond-based Lingerfelt CommonWealth Partners has acquired a 28-story office building in Florida from Gate Riverplace Co., a subsidiary of Gate Petroleum. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Riverplace Tower is a 425,223-square-foot, Class A office building located at 1301 Riverplace Boulevard in Jacksonville, Fla. Tenants include Rogers Towers P.A., Rayonier Inc., Adecco USA and ClubCorp USA Inc.
Built in 1967, the tower was the tallest building in Florida until 1972. Today, it is the fifth tallest building in Jacksonville. The property was renovated in 1994, and it went through a multimillion-dollar modernization and renovation in 2005.
Commonwealth Commercial Partners , a Lingerfelt affiliate, will handle Riverplace Tower’s asset and property management. Jones Lang LaSalle will be in charge of the tower’s leasing and marketing.2014-10-31T16:13:00+00:00
Sentara expands use of copper-infused products in its hospitals
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/sentara-expands-use-of-copper-infused-products-in-its-hospitals#When:20:08:00ZSentara Healthcare is expanding to a third hospital a clinical trial of antimicrobial products used to fight hospital-acquired infections.
Test materials produced by Richmond-based Cupron Inc. – including cooper-infused bed linens, patient gowns and towels — will be used at Sentara CarePlex in Hampton beginning Sunday.
Cupron also provided linens used in studies at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital in Norfolk.
Sentara Leigh also has used copper-infused, self-sanitizing hard surfaces from Cupron’s partner, Norfolk-based EOS Surfaces.
“While the studies at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Leigh Hospital are still ongoing, we’ve seen enough progress that we felt it warranted further analysis,” Dr. Gene Burke, Sentara’s vice president of clinical effectiveness, said in a statement.
Cupron has developed ways to isolate copper particles that can be embedded in a variety of materials.
When it opens in April, Sentara Leigh Hospital’s West Tower will be completely outfitted with copper-infused materials from Cupron and EOS Surfaces, including countertops, over-the-bed tables, bed rails, and textiles ranging from bed linens to patients gowns.2014-10-30T20:08:00+00:00
Former Virginia secretary of commerce and trade joins McGuireWoods Consulting
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/companies/article/former-virginia-secretary-of-commerce-and-trade-joins-mcguirewoods-consulti#When:20:04:00ZRobert T. Skunda, a former Virginia secretary of commerce and trade, has joined Richmond-based McGuireWoods Consulting as senior consultant of infrastructure and economic development.
Skunda recently retired as the president and CEO of the Virginia BioTechnology Research Park in Richmond.
Trained as an architect and urban planner, Skunda worked for several major architecture and engineering firms in the U.S. before becoming a cabinet secretary under Gov. George Allen in the 1990s and then president of the biotech park.
During his time as secretary of commerce and trade, the commonwealth saw $12 billion in new private sector investment leading to the creation of 300,000 net new jobs.
Skunda worked with the biotech park from its the earliest stages of planning and development, helping it become one of the largest urban research and technology parks in the nation.
The park covers 34 acres of downtown Richmond, providing more than 1.3 million square feet of laboratory and office space to more than 60 private companies, nonprofits, research institutes and government laboratories.2014-10-30T20:04:00+00:00
Herndon-based Sotera sells its engineered solutions division
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/herndon-based-sotera-sells-its-engineered-solutions-division#When:19:28:00ZHerndon-based Sotera Defense Solutions, a provider of technology-based systems, solutions and services for U.S. government programs, has sold its engineered solutions division to Kentucky-based Outdoor Venture Corp.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
"This transaction allows Sotera to become a leading pure-play national security technology solutions provider focused on accelerating its growth in our customer's critical national security, intelligence and law enforcement missions,” Deb Alderson, Sotera’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.
Sotera said its engineered solutions division, based in Easton, Md., represented a small portion of its overall business. The division offers services and components for expeditionary systems such as field kitchens and sanitary equipment for the U.S. military.
Founded in 1972, Outdoor Venture manufactures and supplies a wide range of products including tents, sleeping bags and hunting products.
In 2012, company expanded its shelter market into the rigid-wall shelter area through an acquisition of the assets of a company that manufactured steel-insulated panels.2014-10-30T19:28:00+00:00
Huntington Ingalls doubles dividend and share repurchase program
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/huntington-ingalls-doubles-dividend-and-share-repurchase-program#When:18:41:00ZNewport News-based Huntington Ingalls Industries has doubled its quarterly cash dividend to 40 cents a share.
The dividend will be payable Dec. 12 to shareholders of record on Nov. 28.
In addition to raising the dividend, the company’s board of directors boosted its share repurchase program from $300 million to $600 million and extended the program’s deadline from Oct. 31, 2017 to the same date in 2019.
“Increasing the quarterly cash dividend and the share repurchase program affirms our commitment to a balanced cash deployment strategy and further demonstrates our confidence in the company's performance and our ability to achieve 9-plus percent operating margin in 2015," Mike Petters, HII's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Huntington Ingalls Industries designs and builds nuclear and conventionally-powered ships for the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard. The company employs more than 39,000 people.2014-10-30T18:41:00+00:00
UniTao Pharmaceuticals purchases Boehringer Ingelheim plant in Petersburg
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/unitao-pharmaceuticals-purchases-boehringer-ingelheim-plant-in-petersburg#When:15:39:00ZUniTao Pharmaceuticals LLC, a China-based subsidiary, has purchased the Boehringer Ingelheim plant in the Petersburg and will invest $22.5 million to establish operations.
The company, a subsidiary of Shanghai-based Tenry Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients for common over-the-counter medications. In announcing the purchase Thursday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said the project is a result of his recent meeting with company officials in Shanghai during an Asian marketing mission trip.
“This project will have a tremendous impact in the city of Petersburg and the surrounding region,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “I had the great privilege of meeting with company officials during my Asia marketing mission last week in Shanghai, China, to officially close this significant win. UniTao’s new manufacturing operation in the commonwealth is another milestone in building a new Virginia economy and builds on Virginia’s longstanding and growing relationship with China.”
According to the governor’s office, Virginia competed against California and China for the project, which will create 376 new jobs over three years.
Christian Munson, a spokesman for UniTao Pharmaceuticals, said in an interview with Virginia Business, that his company is beginning to take ownership of the Petersburg facility. Boehringer Ingelheim announced the closing of its Petersburg plant in August last year, a move affecting 240 employees by the end of this year. Those employees will be given an opportunity to apply for the new jobs, Munson said. "We will be looking for manufacturing pharmaceutical expertise, so we will be looking to that talent pool," he said. "However, there won't be 240 hires tomorrow."
"We are figuring out what we are going to be doing at this plant still. Manufacturing will begin in a year or two. Some time is needed to move product lines over and to figure out what lines will be manufactured here," Munson said. In the meantime, the plant will remain operational as UniTao gets its business up and running. By the end of three years, Munson said the company expects to have 376 employees on board.
McAuliffe approved a $1 million grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Petersburg with the project. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.
The company also will be eligible to receive a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit and sales and use tax exemptions on manufacturing equipment.
UniTao was seeking an existing manufacturing facility in the U.S. to expand its global market share. The Petersburg operation will allow UniTao a quick startup to production.
“It is a great testament to our ongoing efforts and Virginia’s incredible assets that Tenry will establish its first U.S. manufacturing operation in the city of Petersburg. An investment of this magnitude and new job opportunities in an economically distressed community is cause for celebration” said Maurice Jones, Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade.
Tenry, founded in 2005, is a Chinese firm engaged in research and development, manufacturing, and sales of pharmaceutical drugs, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), dietary supplements, and food additives.
The company currently has 500 employees and five subsidiary operations: UniTao Pharmaceuticals LLC; Shanghai Tenry Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; Shanghai Qingping Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.; Hainan Tenry Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; and Shanghai Tenry Bio-Medical Technology Co., Ltd.
“Our expansion to Virginia underscores our commitment to meeting the demands of our global customers as efficiently as possible,” Tao Ye, CEO of UniTao Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. “The former Boehringer Ingelheim facility, the region’s accessibility and its skilled workforce will enable us to start operations quickly and better meet marketplace demands in the U.S. and elsewhere.”
Boehringer Ingelheim's 190-acre campus is located at 2820 N. Normandy Drive, about 25 miles south of Richmond.2014-10-30T15:39:00+00:00
Dominion begins work on Cove Point LNG export project in Maryland
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/dominion-begins-work-on-cove-point-lng-export-project-in-maryland#When:14:58:00ZRichmond-based Dominion said Thursday that it has begun construction-related activities for the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas Export (LNG) project, one of the largest private investments ever in Maryland.
"This is a historic event for Dominion, Maryland and the nation," Diane Leopold, president of the company's Dominion Energy business unit, said in a statement. "The Cove Point LNG export project will help meet the world's need to move toward cleaner fuels. At the same time, it will provide significant economic benefits in terms of thousands of construction jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues over the life of the facility and an outlet for some of the nation's surplus natural gas supplies."
Leopold noted that the project underwent a three-year regulatory review and approval process designed to ensure it meets safety, environmental and other requirements. Numerous federal, state and local agencies and thousands of private citizens participated in the process. More than 60 approvals and permits were required before construction could begin.
"The Cove Point facility has been on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay as an LNG import terminal for nearly 40 years," she said. "While we are making a substantial investment to add export capabilities, we intend to keep unchanged our commitment to being a good neighbor and responsible steward of the environment."
Construction activities include initial preparations for worksite clearing and grading. Activities began earlier this month at two off-site locations: a temporary pier being built on the Pautuxent River to receive barge shipments of large equipment and a temporary location for offices, material staging and parking for project construction workers.
The Cove Point LNG Export project is estimated to cost between $3.4 billion and $3.8 billion and, according to Dominion, will create thousands of skilled construction jobs, 75 permanent jobs and an additional $40 million in annual tax revenue to Calvert County in Maryland. The county today receives $15.7 million a year from the LNG import facility.
The proposed export facility will be within the 131-acre footprint of the existing LNG terminal site. Dominion said no new pipelines or storage tanks are needed at the facility. It is targeted to begin operations in late 2017.
Dominion has subscribed the marketed capacity of the project with 20-year service agreements with several companies. They are ST Cove Point LLC, a joint venture of Sumitomo Corp., a Japanese corporation that is one of the world's leading trading companies; Tokyo Gas Co. Ltd., a Japanese corporation that is the largest natural gas utility in Japan; and GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC, a wholly owned indirect U.S. subsidiary of GAIL (India) Limited, one of the largest natural gas processing and distributing companies in India.2014-10-30T14:58:00+00:00
Out & About - November 2014
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/out-about-november-2014#When:10:00:00ZThis month's Out & About features photos from the Virginia Living Museum's Golden Paw awards. The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News presented its highest honor, the Golden Paw Award, to Riverside Health System in recognition of years of strategic partnership between the two neighboring institutions on J. Clyde Morris Blvd during a reception on Sept. 24 honoring museum supporters. The award is a bronze otter statue by Eastern Shore sculptor David Turner.
To share photos of special events at your company with Virginia Business, e-mail your high resolution images to or mail them to 1207 East Main Street, Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23219. Photos not used in the magazine may be posted on our online photo gallery.2014-10-30T10:00:00+00:00
Reports point to ways U.S. can boost manufacturing
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/opinion/article/reports-point-to-ways-u.s.-can-boost-manufacturing#When:10:00:00ZIs the U.S. on the cusp of a manufacturing renaissance? Two reports released in recent months suggest that, given some help, small and midsize manufacturers in this country can thrive and create jobs.
The creation of more manufacturing jobs is important to our economy, not only for the boost that additional employment can provide, but also for symbolic reasons.
As a report from the Miller Center at the University of Virginia notes, for decades well-paid manufacturing jobs were the key for millions of middle-class families achieving the “American Dream”: home ownership, a secure retirement and the opportunity to send the kids to college.
That dream has suffered in recent years as U.S. manufacturing has declined. Since 1972, the number of American manufacturing jobs has dropped by more than 50 percent, from 21 million in 1972 to just 10 million in 2010, according to the Miller Center. In Virginia, manufacturing jobs peaked at 432,500 in 1989 and now total fewer than 230,000.
Some observers have seen this decline as inevitable, with manufacturing jobs moving to countries with the lowest labor costs. The shift in the past two decades have wreaked havoc on regional economies heavily reliant on certain types of manufacturers, such as the textile and furniture-making industries in Southern Virginia.
The Miller Center report, released in June, examined the prospects for a U.S. manufacturing comeback as part of its “Milstein Symposium: Ideas for a New American Century.” A 14-member panel co-chaired by former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana focused on small and midsize manufacturers as catalysts for change.
The report notes that while the number of manufacturing jobs has shrunk in the past four decades, the percentage of jobs generated by small and midsize companies has risen from 29 to 45 percent of the industry workforce during that time. Companies in these categories, in fact, now represent 98 percent of all manufacturers.
Despite the long decline of U.S. manufacturing, these companies are increasingly optimistic about their prospects, according to the 2014 Manufacturing and Distribution Monitor, a report released in September by the accounting firm McGladrey LLP, which has offices in McLean and Richmond.
A survey of 900 manufacturing executives found that 67 percent expect to hire more employees in the U.S. during the next year, up from 62 percent last year. Meanwhile, the percentage of employers expecting to cut back their workforce dropped to 5 percent after ranging from 9 to 11 percent during the past three years.
The optimism found in the McGladdrey report also can be seen in the economic development announcements made by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership since January. In mid-October, the list included 72 manufacturing projects, 53 of which involved existing companies that are expanding their operations in Virginia.
Nonetheless, both reports note that manufacturers still face many hurdles in remaining competitive.
In the McGladrey report, manufacturers say government regulations represent the biggest obstacle to growth. That broad topic includes implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the employer mandate takes effect next year), Environmental Protection Agency rules and state regulations.
The Miller Center report explored other problems that could limit potential growth and offered recommendations to solve them. “Outpacing the global competition requires a highly skilled workforce, yet there exists no efficient mechanism to match supply and demand within the labor market, leading to systemic inefficiency,” the commission report says.
One of the problems manufacturers face in creating a skilled workforce, the report notes, is the lingering stigma that workforce training and manufacturing careers have in the K-12 education system.
Even without the stigma, manufacturers face problems investing in training programs. They also have difficulty acquiring new technology, plugging into existing supply chains and bringing their products to market.
Given those issues, the commission had six recommendations:
Create talent-investment loans: These government-backed loans would help companies expand their businesses, hiring more workers and upgrading their skills.
Develop “upside-down” degrees: This program would allow students to get credit toward a bachelor’s degree for technical training, work experience, military training or community college courses.
Start a skills census: A survey would be routinely conducted to determine what skills employers need now and in the future.
Launch a national supply chain initiative: A study “mapping” manufacturing supply chains would spot gaps and identify emerging technologies.
Expand technology and engineering certification programs: The goal here is to give high school students opportunities to get certified technical skills.
Begin a “big-trends, small firms” initiative: The U.S. Commerce Department’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership would help small and midsized companies acquire and utilize new technologies.
Policymakers should heed the issues raised by both reports. If they want a true revival of the U.S. economy — and a restoration of the American Dream — they should give manufacturers a hand in achieving their growth potential.2014-10-30T10:00:00+00:00http://www.virginiabusiness.com/uploads2/ROANOKESIDE_drone.pngGov. Terry McAuliffe at an event at Virginia Tech, one of six U.S. test sites for drone research. Courtesy Virginia Tech
http://www.virginiabusiness.com/news/article/economic-engines#When:10:00:00ZVirginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center are major drivers in the local and state economies. Because of Tech’s research and the companies it attracts to the Corporate Research Center (CRC), business impact is steadily increasing.
“Impact plays out over time,” says the director of Tech’s economic development office, John Provo. “The CRC is more than a quarter century of success. You’ve seen incredible growth, with 160 companies and about 2,700 people working there. The CRC is a great arc over the history of this region.”
The CRC’s current Phase II construction will add 19 buildings to the existing 29 structures. Rackspace, a computing cloud company, opened the first Phase II building in 2012, bringing 100 jobs. The building, designed specifically for Rackspace’s young tech-set, even has an indoor climbing wall.
CRC President Joe Meredith says the center was selected by the Association of University Research Parks as one of 18 founding members of the Academy of Outstanding Research Parks. In August, it hosted the VT Knowledgeworks Global Partnership Week, a business challenge that brought students and faculty from universities around the world together to explore new business concepts.
Larry Hincker, Tech’s vice president for university relations, points to the statewide economic impact of university research. “The best example is the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing,” he says. “This was an initiative resulting from the state’s courtship of Rolls-Royce. The state sweetened the pot by offering up Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia.”
The academic partnering attracted not only Rolls-Royce but also 19 other major manufacturers to the Prince George County center, which opened last year with the goal of bridging the gap between research and commercialization, speeding up the process of getting developments to market. In July, European aerospace giant Airbus became one of the latest members of the collaboration.
In other recent developments, Virginia Tech was named one of only six test sites in the nation for drone research. The Federal Aviation Administration declared Tech’s program fully operational in August when Gov. Terry McAuliffe and leaders from three states gathered to watch a simulation at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s Smart Road. The Arlington-based Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International predicts that drone commercialization will add more than $13.6 billion to the national economy by 2025. Tech’s research will assist the government in developing regulations for the technology.
Tech’s Pamplin College of Business launched a new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship last December and operations are now underway. Linda Oldham came from Georgia Tech in August to serve as executive director, and Derick Maggard, former director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council, came onboard as director in July. The center’s purpose is to support entrepreneurship and innovation by offering courses, mentoring, networking and fostering research projects between participants and faculty members. Tech alumni who have become successful entrepreneurs will work with participants, as well.
To support and inspire entrepreneurship, Tech has two other new projects. Last year, Innovate, a living-learning community for students of any major, opened on Blacksburg’s Oak Lane. The residence program equips students with an understanding of entrepreneurship and associated business practices through a network of peer and faculty partnerships. Students in the program commit to one year of participation but may opt for more.
Virginia Tech Foundation CEO John Dooley also points with enthusiasm to NuSpark, a startup resource that began in February. NuSpark is open to people over 18 in the Roanoke-Blacksburg region who want to work on an idea with the goal of commercializing or implementing it. NuSpark offers work space, workshops and one-on-one mentoring opportunities.
This month, Dooley notes that Tech is offering a new conference on entrepreneurship and innovation, TEC2014. It’s happening Nov. 14-15.2014-10-30T10:00:00+00:00