Botetourt County breaks ground on shell building
Botetourt County is getting a 100,000-square-foot shell building that local officials say will make the region more competitive in attracting new business.
Government and economic development officials gathered Tuesday to break ground on the new building on a 22-acre site at the county's Botetourt Center at Greenfield. County officials say the structure will help address a regional problem of not having enough available buildings for companies seeking advanced manufacturing space. “Three quarters of our inquiries are for existing buildings, and we don't have a deep inventory of modern facilites for high-tech advanced manufacturing. That is the case along the entire I-81 corridor,” Beth Doughty, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership, said in a statement.
The building, the only one planned in the region, will have room to at least double in size.
A shell building helps companies increase their speed in bringing products to market because they don’t have to spend time constructing a building. Plus, the building is expected to give the region an advantage in attracting more highly skilled and high-paying jobs like the ones being created adjacent to the facility at Eldor Corp. and Ballast Point Beer and Spirits.
Eldor, based in Italy, announced plans in March to invest $75 million during the next five years in what will be its first North American production plant. The 250,000-square-foot plant will employ 350 workers making ignition and electric systems for hybrid and electric cars.
The county got more good news in May from San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing and Spirits. It plans to invest about $48 million to turn an existing building in the industrial park into its East Coast manufacturing and retail operation. The project is expected to create about 175 jobs.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held on International Drive at the Botetourt Center in Daleville. It is a joint project of the Greater Roanoke Valley Development Foundation, the Roanoke Valley Development Corp. and Botetourt County. The overall cost of the project is estimated at $3 million.
Hometown Bank is providing financing while local companies Balzer & Associates and Avis Construction will lead the design and construction. Construction begins immediately and is expected to take about 10 months.
“We are now missing opportunities because we don’t have the product,” Doughty said. “This building will be very attractive to a manufacturer looking to take advantage of the Virginia Western Mechatronics Program, low costs of doing business, market access, and a very livable region.