On May 27, 2017, the Economic Development Authority (EDA) of Montgomery County entered into a contract with Cox Family Farms, LLC, to purchase 124 acres of property located directly adjacent to the County's Falling Branch Corporate Park at a cost of $2.5 million (or roughly $20,161 per acre).
Beginning May 27, the EDA has 180 days to perform due diligence on the property, which includes the rezoning request process as well as geotechnical and environmental studies. Rezoning applications with both Montgomery County and the Town of Christiansburg were filed for the property on May 30. Prior to expiration of the 180 day period, the EDA will decide whether to purchase the property and evaluate the expansion of utilities and a road to the property.
"The Board of Supervisors is committed to keeping Montgomery County a growing and competitive area that continues to attract new businesses," said Chris Tuck, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors. "Acquiring this property is an important step in expanding our existing corporate park and a decision that will pay dividends in the future by providing the ground work to attract larger commercial businesses to the County."
Currently, the Falling Branch Corporate Park is comprised of a total of 175 acres, with 146 acres occupied by businesses to include Aeroprobe Corporate, Backcountry, Dish Network, Ferguson Enterprises, Inc., Inorganic Ventures, Polymer Solutions Inc., PreStar Packaging, leaving 29 acres divided into three separate lots available.
"This new property is valuable to Montgomery County in terms of economic development since it is directly adjacent to the County’s current corporate park," said Tommy Loflin, Chair, EDA. "As of right now, the County does not have any sites over 16 acres, which makes it difficult to attract prospective business in need of larger areas."
Once the property has been purchased, the EDA will begin marketing it in an effort to attract businesses.
"This is a great investment by Montgomery County that will open the door to new opportunities for our region," said Charlie Jewell, Executive Director, New River Valley Economic Development Alliance. "Having a 100-plus acre site that's ready for development will allow the County to compete for much larger projects. This will allow us to better market the County to attract a wider range of businesses to the New River Valley."
Information regarding the rezoning request will be available on the Planning Commission's website on June 7 (www.montgomerycountyva.gov/content/15989/16031/16775/default.aspx). The Montgomery County Planning Commission will have a site visit on June 14. A Public Hearing with the Planning Commission related to the rezoning request will take place on July 19, followed by a Public Hearing with the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors on July 24.