Suffolk logistics center moves ahead
Despite lingering community opposition, Suffolk officials remain committed to the Port 460 Logistics Center, a warehouse complex on Pruden Boulevard at the U.S. Route 58 interchange, a major freight corridor to the Port of Virginia.
In September 2022, Suffolk City Council approved rezoning 540 acres from general commercial and agricultural to heavy industrial use, paving the way for Frederick, Maryland-based Matan Cos. to build 10 warehouses with up to 5 million square feet of space to attract warehousing and logistics tenants. Port 460’s initial phase includes two 350,000-square-foot buildings and a 1 million-square-foot building. The project is expected to generate 2,600 construction jobs and 9,000 long-term positions. Construction could begin late this year, with the first warehouse ready by late 2024 or early 2025, says Kevin Hughes, Suffolk deputy city manager.
Matan is investing $420 million to construct the logistics center, $30 million for public road improvements, $6.6 million for engineering costs and interchange improvements and $3 million for fees, utility connections, inspections and reviews. The Port of Virginia provided $1 million to assist with design costs, and Suffolk will partner with the port to secure additional state and federal funding, including improvements to the U.S. 460/U.S. 58 corridor, says Suffolk Mayor Mike Duman.
Port 460 could generate more than $36 million in property taxes, assuming a 10-year completion, Duman adds, and annual local taxes are projected to range from $6.5 million to $8.1 million.
“This is a significant economic investment in our city,” says Duman. “Our city’s large land mass and close proximity to the port will continue to attract this type of investment.”
Citing concerns about increased traffic and detrimental effects to the city’s rural character, a group of citizens filed a lawsuit in October 2022 in Suffolk Circuit Court seeking to nullify the rezoning.
Duman doesn’t begrudge Suffolk residents filing the lawsuit. “It gives our citizens the opportunity to see that the [rezoning] process was transparent.”
He notes that “our citizens have clearly communicated that traffic is their No. 1 concern,” adding that by 2045, truck traffic is expected to increase by 47% on Route 58 and by 90% on Route 460. Those traffic increases are directly tied to expected increases in port activity, he says. “This is inevitable with or without this project, but City Council must ensure these issues are addressed.”