The Halifax County Industrial Development Authority is discussing a new prospect for the recently constructed shell building at the entrance of Southern Virginia Technology Park.
Mike Davidson, recently hired interim executive director of the Halifax County IDA, is taking the lead on the project in his new role at the economic development entity’s helm.
“At this point we are in competitive negotiations with a prospect that is considering four other states,” Davidson wrote in an emailed response to The Gazette on Monday afternoon. “The shell building is being proposed for this project. Halifax would not be in consideration if the shell building was not there.”
Davidson said he was unable to release any further information on the project at this time.
Mattie Cowan, a member of the IDA’s board of directors, confirmed that the board had discussed the prospect for the shell building in a closed session meeting last Friday morning in the IDA’s conference room.
The IDA board is meeting again this Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the IDA conference room at 1100 Confroy Drive. An update on the construction of the shell building is an item listed on the meeting agenda. However, Davidson said he does not anticipate any public announcement on the project being made at Friday’s meeting.
Former IDA executive director Brian Brown told the IDA board a month ago, in an Oct.16 joint meeting with the Halifax County Board of Supervisors, that construction on the shell building was on target for completion within three weeks. Samet Corporation, a company based in Greensboro, North Carolina, is the project contractor.
The shell building currently stands at 50,000 square feet, but Brown previously stated the building could be expanded to 150,000 square feet if needed to attract a larger industry to Halifax County, and the IDA owns all plans for the expansion of the facility.
Ground was broken on the project in March, and a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the future site of the shell building. At the ceremony, Halifax County IDA chairman Robert Bates told the crowd that he believed the shell building would give Halifax County an advantage over other counties competing for new industries and businesses.
“Oftentimes we find when we’re competing with other counties such as Mecklenburg and Danville. They have buildings available that people can simply come to, restructure, upfit and get it ready to go, and we’re simply left behind because we have no way to get to the dance,” Bates commented. “Today I’m here to tell you, folks, we’re dressed, we have our tux, we have our car, and we’re ready to go to the dance.”
Hubert Pannell, chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors, had similar thoughts, telling the crowd at the groundbreaking ceremony that the shell building would show potential investors that Halifax County is “open for business.”