BLUEFIELD, Va. — Work is moving along on the construction of the Bluestone Regional Business & Technical Center’s first facility.
The 40,000-sq.-ft. $2.7 million shell building for a future business is scheduled to be finished by the end of this year at the center, which is located off U.S. 460 in Tazewell County a few miles west of Bluefield in Springville.
“They are hoping to get it under roof … and have it ready,” said Eastern District Supervisor Charlie Stacy.
Stacy said the shell building will provide the county with a facility that can be finished to any specifications quickly.
“We have had a couple of industries that are interested in Southwest Virginia that we have targeted,” he said. “But they need to move quicker than the 18 months it takes to build from scratch.”
Although the business and technical center was finished several years ago, an occupant has not yet been found.
A shell building may change that, according to the county’s economic development director, Mike Thompson.
“It’s under way,” Thompson said of the project. “They are getting the pad ready now to put the building up. It should be ready in early January.”
Something more than land has to be in place to lure companies, he said. “They want to talk about the current building, It’s not just the land. They want something that can be modified quickly so they can move right in.”
Thompson said once a business locates in the center, “we can draw other companies there easier.”
Stacy said the funding is a zero percent interest loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and payments don’t begin until an occupant is found.
Finished in 2011, the center is a 680-acre tract that lies between the highway and East River Mountain.
But difficult economic times have curtailed development.
The center is a $13 million investment, with most of the money to build it from grants (almost $3 million) and the state Tobacco Commission (about $10 million)
It has 3-acre to 12-acre building pads that can be expanded.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com.