More money needed for ‘460 Commerce Center’ road

Published 4:52 pm Thursday, February 22, 2024

Isle of Wight County’s Economic Development Department expects to need more money from county supervisors to fund a roadway extension for the “460 Commerce Center,” a distribution center planned for the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park outside Windsor.

The 352,000-square-foot warehouse, named for the four-lane Route 460 highway that passes through the town, is to be located on a roughly 43-acre Economic Development Authority-owned parcel adjacent to the Safco Products and Keurig Dr. Pepper distribution centers located in Phase 2 of the park.

Last year, the Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board approved an $850,000 grant to fund the extension of William A. Gwaltney Way. The EDA voted unanimously on Feb. 8 to pull $150,000 from its reserves to meet the grant’s local match requirement.

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According to newly appointed Economic Development Director Kristi Sutphin, the road extension is expected to cost $2.5 million. The grant, local match and $1.1 million in committed funding from the county’s capital improvements budget could still leave a shortfall of up to $350,000.

Sutphin said the county submitted completed designs for the road to the Virginia Department of Transportation in January and is hoping to put the project out to bid by the end of March. If that happens, construction could begin as early as July.

The 460 Commerce Center project is separate from a planned multi-warehouse complex known as the Tidewater Logistics Center, which is planned for the opposite side of Route 460, also known as Windsor Boulevard. Unlike the 460 Commerce Center, it would be located within the town’s limits between Lovers Lane and Old Mill Road.

A third distribution center in the works, dubbed “Project Air Station,” is planned for 135 acres along Walters Highway less than a mile south of the town. Air Station General LC, a Virginia Beach-based company, has contracted to purchase the land and build a 130,000-square-foot warehouse. A groundbreaking date for Project Air Station is “to be determined at this point,” Sutphin said.