COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — On June 15, GO Virginia approved Virginia’s Gateway Region’s $1.63 million site development grant request to improve a total of 15 sites to a Tier 4 level on the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program in GO Virginia Region 4. More importantly, 11 of the 15 sites to be developed are in the Gateway Region.
“Much work will need to be done over the next year or so to complete this grant, but ‘we are on our way’,” said VGR President & CEO Keith Boswell. “We are part of the Commonwealth’s GO Virginia Region 4. Of all the potential developable sites in Virginia, one third of them are located in this region … This grant allows us to move 11 more sites to a Tier 4 status, which means the sites are in prime condition for a prospective company to locate there and build out a new facility.”
“We are pleased our region was successful with this grant application and our goal is to increase the economic competitiveness of our communities,” said Wilson H. Flohr, Jr., CEO of the Grow Capital Jobs Foundation.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership’s Virginia Business Ready Sites Program characterizes sites to assess and designate their current level of development. Site development, such as in this case, is when a pool of potential sites across the Commonwealth are further developed. All of these sites are being advanced into Tier 4, which is defined by VEDP as a site where all infrastructure is in place or will be deliverable within 12 months, and where all permit issues have been identified and quantified.
Before VGR engaged in the grant application process with GO Virginia, there were three Tier 4 sites available, which means the site development grant award will quadruple the number of sites that are available in the Gateway Region. VGR’s end goal is to have several new projects announced in the Gateway Region, resulting in new jobs and investment for the regional economy.
The lifeblood of economic development is site readiness. One of the top priorities in economic development is fighting to win attraction projects to add jobs to the local and regional economy and expand the tax base. In order to win site selection projects, the region must have a variety of buildings and land available to propose to potential prospects. If a region does not have a variety of shovel-ready sites, consultants and company executives will move on to a different region.
About Virginia’s Gateway Region
Virginia’s Gateway Region is the regional economic development organization that markets the cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell and Petersburg, and the counties of Dinwiddie, Prince George, Surry and Sussex. VGR focuses its efforts on new and existing business investment and job creation.