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Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced on Thursday that $150 million will be allocated to expand the Virginia Business Ready Site Program, and $100 million of that will be used specifically for mega sites across the Commonwealth. While making the announcement at Danville’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, Northam acknowledged that these funds will help enhance the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill, the largest Megasite in the southeast United States.
“The Berry Hill site represents the pinnacle of our area’s economic transformation,” said Bob Warren, Chairman of the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. “The industry that locates here will have a massive impact on our entire region – not just Danville and Pittsylvania County, but all of the localities around us in Virginia and North Carolina. We’ve believed in transformation and growth, and we thank the State of Virginia and Governor Northam for having that same belief and making the investments needed to make this happen.”
“These funds will allow us to accelerate the development of the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill,” said Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones. “While economic activity in our city and region is now as high as it has been in at least the past decade, we believe that with this announcement today the best is yet to come.”
These funds will be used to develop business-ready sites across the state to help accommodate the significant needs and short timelines of large industries looking to locate in Virginia. The few certified mega sites in the Commonwealth – including the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill – will be able to make applications to the Virginia Economic Development Partnership to use portions of the $100 million allocation.
Located in the southwestern portion of Pittsylvania County, the Southern Virginia Megasite at Berry Hill is a 3,528-acre industrial park. The site is co-owned by the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County through the Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority (RIFA) – a joint economic development initiative between the two localities.
“This industrial park is an essential building block in the future of our region,” said RIFA Chairman Sherman Saunders. “Today’s announcement is a sign that we are doing the right things to bring about transformative growth. We thank Governor Northam for his commitment to Danville and the Dan River Region.”
The Southern Virginia Megasite has access to over 300 megawatts of electricity from American Electric Power, more than 5.75 million of gallons per day (MGD) of water, 3 MGD of sewer capacity, natural gas from the Transco Gas Pipeline that runs through the site, Class I rail service from Norfolk and Southern, and Terabyte fiber speeds. These new, “site ready” funds will be used to make additional site enhancements to the Southern Virginia Megasite.
“These historic investments will be felt in every corner of the Commonwealth and represent an investment in our collective economic future,” said Governor Northam.
Many organizations have made considerable investments in the Southern Virginia Megasite including the Tobacco Commission, the Danville Regional Foundation, the City of Eden, the City of Danville, the Institute of Advanced Research and Learning, the Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors, and others. The Southern Virginia Megasite has achieved several significant certifications that make it even more attractive to potential developers. For instance, earlier this year the Park received the Quest Megasite/Superpark certification.