The Importance of Site Development
Over the last year, the Office of Economic Development has worked on master plan and site development efforts for locations in Ivy Creek Innovation Park and the future Airport Commerce Park. These efforts will help open more than 300 acres of property for industrial and commercial development. Though there continue to be opportunities for new site development, the City of Lynchburg is challenged with a low inventory of business-ready sites. The ability to advance Ivy Creek and the Airport Commerce Park will greatly increase the marketability of Lynchburg’s industrial offerings, making it more competitive for economic development projects that support our targeted industry sectors, including advanced manufacturing, nuclear technology, and engineering services.
Airport Commerce Park Site Development
On December 13, 2022, the GO Virginia State Board announced its approval of a Region 2, City of Lynchburg collaborative project aimed at growing the regional economy for the Airport Commerce Park Regional Development. The project is a collaboration between the City of Lynchburg, Campbell County, and Lynchburg Regional Airport. The GO Virginia board approved a total of $190,000 in state funds for the project.
The Airport Commerce Park Regional Development will advance the Airport Commerce Park site from a Virginia Business Ready Sites Program characterization of Tier 2 to Tier 3; this will serve to strengthen its competitive position in the global marketplace and attract advanced manufacturing and technology, with a specific focus on aerospace. The location is strategically located to accommodate all modes of transportation (air, ground and rail) for business development.
“Site development is critical for the City of Lynchburg, and this funding will help develop a site that is in a great location for industrial growth,” said Marjette Upshur, director of the City of Lynchburg’s Office of Economic Development & Tourism. “The site is road, rail, and air accessible and will positively position Lynchburg and Campbell County for a number of opportunities for business, industrial and aeronautical uses.”
This site is one of just two City-owned industrial properties over 100 acres. Funding will support a traffic impact analysis, preliminary geotechnical exploration and report, Phase 1 environmental site assessment, waters of the US delineation and determination, cultural resources review, threatened and endangered species review, and a preliminary engineering report.
This effort will be completed within the first 12 months. The City of Lynchburg and Campbell County will continue to collaborate to secure additional funding sources for the construction of the initial infrastructure.
Ivy Creek Site Development
On January 16, 2023, Governor Glenn Youngkin announced $90 Million in Virginia Business Ready Sites Program (VBRSP) Grants to develop industrial sites across the Commonwealth. The VBRSP development grants were awarded to 21 sites, including the Ivy Creak Innovation Park, located in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The City of Lynchburg was awarded $261,750 towards site development for “Sites A & B” in the Ivy Creek Innovation Park, which are currently owned by the Economic Development Authority of the City of Lynchburg. In addressing the low inventory of business-ready sites within the City and region, the City of Lynchburg reviewed all sites owned publicly or by the Economic Development Authority, and determined these two sites to be the most viable and “prospect ready,” as these sites are within an existing, vibrant industrial park. The funding will help support a preliminary engineering report, boundary and topographic survey, environmental site assessment and preparation of construction and permit documents for road access, water lines and wastewater, advancing the sites from a Tier 2 project to a Tier 4 in Virginia’s industrial site characterization system.
VBRSP is administered by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP). This discretionary program helps characterize and develop sites to enhance the Commonwealth’s infrastructure with more competitive project-ready sites, to attract new business and accelerate expansion in Virginia. The program has two components: 1) Site characterization to assess and designate a site’s current level of development; and 2) Site development to further develop a pool of potential sites across the Commonwealth. Localities can apply for grants to assist with the costs associated with the initial assessment and the development required to increase a site’s current designation level.
“Ivy Creek Innovation Center is one of the City of Lynchburg’s top-performing industrial parks. The park is home to major companies such as BWXT, Frito Lay, L3 Harris, Total Plastic Solutions and Boxley. With this grant, the City of Lynchburg’s Economic Development Authority has taken steps to ensure the park is a top priority for site development,” said City of Lynchburg Director of Economic Development & Tourism, Marjette Upshur.
City of Lynchburg targeted industries for business attraction and expansion in Ivy Creek Innovation park
- Metals and Machinery Manufacturing and Conveyor Systems, and Moving Equipment
- Wireless Communication and Electronic Components
- Nuclear Technology
- Advertising, Marketing, and Design Services and Architecture and Engineering Services
The City of Lynchburg and the Economic Development Authority are invested in forward-thinking, innovative ideas that will continue to move the LYH economy forward. Investing in and preparing sites for future development is a key component in ensuring a vibrant future for the City of Lynchburg.