A modular housing manufacturer plans to establish its first East Coast facility in Newport News, investing $2 million and producing 220 jobs, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday.
A Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corporation founded in 2018, indieDwell turns recycled shipping containers into small homes with one to four bedrooms to help solve the affordable housing crisis, according to the governor’s office. It currently has facilities in Idaho and Colorado, with plans to expand to other states, building factories in areas that have low to moderate income rates and a need for affordable housing. Virginia competed with other states for the project, which will be located in a portion of 520 21st St. in Newport News.
“The affordable housing deficit in Virginia and across our country has deepened amid the pandemic, and indieDwell’s innovative modular units are an important part of the solution,” Northam said in a statement. “We are proud to welcome this mission-driven company to the commonwealth and look forward to collaborating with indieDwell and the many local partners involved in this project to build strong, resilient and sustainable communities.”
“We selected Newport News for our expansion after considering a number of locational advantages,” Pete Gombert, executive chairman and co-founder of indieDwell, said in a statement. “Our Newport News facility is strategically located in the mid-Atlantic region with access to the interstate highway system and, most importantly, a strong workforce. Workforce development is one of indieDwell’s guiding principles, and our sincere desire to work with the Southeast community neighborhood to create new jobs and construction trade training was a driving force behind our decision to select Newport News.”
Virginia Housing worked with the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the city to secure the project for Virginia, approving a grant of up to $500,000 for the company, which anticipates that by 2025, it will have built 20,000 homes.