Chesterfield EDA to acquire property for ‘mega site’
The Chesterfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) is acquiring 1,675 acres to create a “mega site” aimed at attracting a large manufacturing facility.
“This site gives Virginia something unique and allows us to compete for projects on a level we haven’t had before,” Gov. Terry McAuliffe said in a statement announcing the project, called the Motoaca Mega Site.
Mega sites are industrial parks geared toward large automotive, aerospace and other advanced-manufacturing plants. Each of these projects are expected to employ 2,500-5,000 workers while creating up to 10,000 total jobs when suppliers are included.
Barry Matherly, president of the Greater Richmond Partnership, described the mega site as a game changer for the region. “It will enable the region to compete in an arena which we have not in the past,” he said in a statement. “The jobs and additional investment opportunities that a major project attracted to this site can bring will benefit everyone.”
The Matoaca Mega Site previously was the location of Branner Station, a proposed mixed-use development that would have included 5,000 housing units. Plans for the project were dropped during the 2007-09 recession.
The site currently is zoned for residential use and will need to be rezoned. The Chesterfield EDA already has submitted the rezoning application.
“While the Board and Planning Commission will conduct a thorough review of the rezoning application with input from residents, I am confident we can make this happen in a way that protects the character of the communities near the site. Certainly, this will have less impact than the 5,000 residential units allowed under the current zoning,” Dorothy Jaeckle, chair of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors, said in a statement.