After rezoning 1,700 acres for a new technology park near Moseley, Chesterfield officials are awaiting eight-figure government funding to prepare the site for development.
The governor’s office recently announced that Chesterfield will receive a $25 million grant for site development projects at the proposed Upper Magnolia Green Technology Park.
County officials said they plan to use the money to design road and utility infrastructure for the site and plan development. The idea is that by taking care of the primary operations along those lines, a company can come in and bring facilities relatively quickly.
The focus of the grant use is design work related to the extension of Poitt Parkway, which is considered key to the development of a technology park in the western part of the county.
“From Hull Street (Road) to the Powayt Parkway design, we will be presenting all four lanes on the project property,” Economic Development Director Garrett Hart said. “We’re going to design two (of those) lines that go deep into the property.
“One of the first things we want to do going forward is acquire the property off of Hull Street. Basically create a front door,” he said.
While the grant will complete design work for the park on the Upper Magnolia property, Chesterfield is also conducting design work to extend it elsewhere on the trail.
“The county is doing some work now. (The grant) is only for Powhite’s property and the area it will go through,” said Matt McLaren of Chesterfield Economic Development.
In addition to initial design work on an extension to the property, the grant will also cover the creation of a pad site for a semiconductor manufacturer, Hart said.
“The current vision is to pursue a high value semiconductor (factory) facility,” he said.
Chesterfield says the 1,700-acre Technology Park site has 1,000 acres of continuously developable acreage.
The Board of Supervisors voted to approve a county-initiated rezoning of Upper Magnolia Green in May after months of discussion and public meetings, as well as opposition from some county residents during the process.
“This announcement provides a great opportunity for Chesterfield’s Upper Magnolia property to be ready for a major development opportunity as soon as possible,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Kevin Carroll said in a statement about the grant. “Preparing the site strengthens the case for state and federal funding for the long-awaited extension of the Powayt Parkway.”
The Upper Magnolia Green property, which is subject to fall renovations, consists of 2,400 acres. Most of that terrace is a technology park, with 700 acres on the east side of the property primarily zoned for residential development.
The technology park is dedicated to seven main services: manufacturing of computer equipment; laboratory; Manufacture of electronic components and accessories; Production of pharmaceutical products; research; Information Center; and office.
Most of the Upper Magnolia property was purchased by the Chesterfield Economic Development Authority in 2020. The county also reclaimed hundreds of acres of land as part of the project.
Hart said the county is looking to use privately owned acres through direct acquisition and other means. The EDA purchased 140 acres at 5601 Moseley Road, which is within the footprint of Upper Magnolia Tech Park, in an agreement filed with the county in early August.
The grant funding is expected to cover half of the county’s $51 million plan to get the Upper Magnolia Tech Park to a Level 4 site readiness designation under Virginia’s Business Ready Site Program. (The site is currently considered Grade 3.) The figure includes costs associated with land acquisition and the zoning process.
The Virginia Business Ready Site Program, to which the Chesterfield grant was awarded, is intended to help Virginia develop project-ready industrial sites to attract new businesses and make company expansions more competitive. The program is administered by the Virginia Partnership for Economic Development.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office announced in mid-January that Chesterfield and other areas will receive grant money. Chesterfield’s award is the largest of the 21 projects named as financial winners, totaling $90 million, according to a VEDP news release.
VEDP will create a performance agreement with Chesterfield and other grant recipients that outlines the authorized uses of funds and other provisions. A VEDP spokesperson said on Thursday that when projects are completed, the money will be refunded to the proposed works.