Category Archives: Economic Development

North Fork project awarded $3 million from Virginia Business Ready Sites program

Albemarle County is set to receive $3 million in funding for infrastructure to help a 31 and a half acre site at the North Forth Discovery Park become more attractive for a economic development prospect. 

Louisa County will receive nearly $11.6 million for the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park. 

The two awards are part of $90 million in grants announced yesterday from the Virginia Business Ready Sites Grant program. 

“The leading priority of the Virginia Business Ready Sites Program is to increase our project-ready sites portfolio across the Commonwealth, and this unprecedented site development funding is an important step forward in strengthening Virginia’s infrastructure,” Youngkin is quoted in a press release. “Prepared sites drive economic growth, and we have to move faster to attract new businesses.” 

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Chamber of Commerce names new members

he organization that aims to promote the business community in the area has named new members of its Board of Directors. The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce announced six new people this week.

  • Rita Bunch, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital
  • Libby Edwards-Allbaugh, The Tax Ladies
  • Rudy Fernandez, Northrop Grumman
  • Allison Linney, Allison Partners
  • David Mitchell of Great Eastern Management Company
  • Todd Rowley, Old Dominion National Bank 
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Male fertility company to launch operations in Albemarle County

A company called PS-Fertility will invest $1.4 million to establish operations in Albemarle County.  That’s according to an economic development press release sent out this morning by Governor Glenn Youngkin.

“The company will lease 4,000 square feet of space at 3030 Vision Lane in Charlottesville, which will serve as its headquarters and house a test kit assembly operation and a diagnostic laboratory,” reads the release. 

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Albemarle Turkey Farm, New Hill Development, and Nelson County all secure state food infrastructure funds

Three projects in our area have secured funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia to help expand the local food industry. Governor Glenn Youngkin has announced ten grants totaling $368,885 from the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Grant Program

One is $24,000 for Kelly Turkeys in Albemarle County to purchase equipment to begin grinding turkey for sales. 

“In operation since 2015, Kelly Turkeys grows and processes KellyBronze birds, an internationally known breed of heritage turkeys raised using sustainable farming methods,” reads the press release. 

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Albemarle County seeking state funds to prepare North Fork for economic development

Albemarle County’s economic development office is waiting on the results of a grant application to help prepare a location to reach a new level of certification from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership.

“This is a process we’ve been in since September where we are working with the University of Virginia Foundation to ready 31 and a half acres within North Fork,” said J.T. Newberry, Principal Business Development Manager for the office. 

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Perrone Robotics to launch shuttle service at UVA’s North Fork

A Crozet company has entered into a contract with the University of Virginia Foundation to provide an autonomous shuttle service around the North Fork discovery park in Albemarle County. 

“The shuttle will begin by running during fixed operating schedules, transporting employees of companies located in North Fork and visitors between its nine Class-A office and laboratory buildings,” reads a press release from Perrone Robotics that was sent out on December 8. 

The shuttles will use Perrone Robotics’ TONY AV technology which has previously been used for an autonomous shuttle around Crozet in collaboration with Jaunt.  TONY stands for “To Navigate You.”

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Miller School seeks potential expansion to 500 students

Another Starbucks planned for Hollymead

The Miller School in western Albemarle will turn 150 in 2028 and currently has 230 students in grades 8 through 12. The school currently is not in compliance with the zoning ordinance that came along decades after is was originally founded. Now the boarding school has applied for a special use permit to expand to add kindergarten through seventh grade. 

“At first, this looks like a strategic partnership with Seven Rivers Day School who will occupy the Haden-Hart building on campus,” reads the narrative written by the firm Line + Grade. 

A second phase of expansion would seek to increase the total population to 500 students by creating two new dormitories, building a new gymnasium, and making other renovations. 

“It is the intent of the Miller School that when this master plan is realized, the student population will generally correspond with less than 200 boarding students and up to 300 day students,” the narrative continues. (SP20220032)

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Economic development plan strategic plan contract awarded

Earlier this year, the city announced it was seeking a firm to conduct an economic development strategic plan. This week the contract was awarded to Resonance Consultancy of New York City

“As leading advisors in tourism, real estate and economic development, Resonance helps places understand market trends, assess their strengths and weaknesses, engage local communities, plan for the future, and create branding and communications in order to realize their full economic potential,” reads the website.

Economic Development Director Chris Engel told the Economic Development Authority in September that the plan would include public input opportunities and that this would be the first such plan in a decade.  

For contrast, Albemarle County has their Project Enable for economic development. 

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Charlottesville convening Committee to plan for Mall celebration, maintenance

In just under two weeks, the city of Charlottesville will hold another Grand Illumination at the Charlottesville Pavilion to say hello to a new holiday tree. This will take place in a space that is now the eastern anchor of a former city street, and thousands will be there. 

Perhaps some of the attendees will be doing research into the future of the Downtown Mall, an initiative that dates back to the late 1950’s. The first section opened in 1976 and there’s a lot of history from before and after. But what about the future? 

“The City Manager is forming a Downtown Mall Committee for the purpose of discussing and vetting ideas for the future management and operations of the mall,” reads a press release. “The intent of this committee is to be a representative public forum for the discussion of the challenges and potential solutions for the Downtown Mall.” 

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Area tourism bureau partnering with Destinations International on diversity pilot

An organization that works with tourism agencies across the world to attract people to specific locations has launched a pilot project with the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention and Visitors Bureau to highlight the area’s inclusivity. 

The CACVB will work with Destinations International on the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion “Tourism for All” program.

“Through a focus on inclusive marketing, welcoming diverse demographics and creating accessible spaces, the [Convention and Visitors Bureau] can become the bright beacon to which people from anywhere can find commonality and community, while also attracting new and underserved travelers to the destination,” reads a press release on the pilot. 

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