IW Supervisors approves laboratory

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Isle of Wight County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Nov. 18 to allow a former Smithfield Foods office building to be repurposed as a laboratory.

The 3.8-acre campus, located on Monette Parkway near the northern bank of the Pagan River, was initially built as office space for the meatpacking company in the early 1980s, then converted to a data processing center in 1999 a year after Smithfield Foods moved to its current corporate headquarters on Commerce Street.

Accelerated Properties LLC, which now owns the nearly 20,000-square-foot building, had requested to amend its conditional limited industrial zoning to allow a laboratory as a permitted use. The registered agent of Accelerated Properties LLC is Joshua Tawes, according to the State Corporation Commission.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

According to a report from the county’s planning and zoning staff, the laboratory would occupy only the center wing of the building, which is about 5,000 square feet.

The proposed laboratory would test for prohibited or regulated ingredients in vitamins, protein bars and shakes, pre-workout pills and drinks, and other products intended for sale in health food stores.

“There is no animal testing, there’s no discharges, there’s nothing of any dangerous nature that’s going to occur on this property,” said Tawes’ attorney, William Riddick III.

The matter had previously gone before the county’s Planning Commission on Oct. 26, where it received a 6-0 recommendation for approval.