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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Olympic Training Facility in Chesterfield Proposed

The Richmond-Times Dispatch has an article today about a proposed new Olympic training facility in Chesterfield County.

Construction on a $100 million, 50-acre Olympic training facility in the Waterford Business Center in Chesterfield County could begin in February.

The project at Route 288 and Powhite Parkway, announced yesterday at Chesterfield's Department of Economic Development, is the brainchild of Steve Burton, CEO and chairman of SportsQuest, a company he developed for this purpose.

Read the entire article at>>

Friday, December 19, 2008

Building Progresses at Westchester Commons

American Infrastructure, the site contractor for Westchester Commons, has once again provided to Chesterfield Economic Development recent aerial photographs of the project. Westchester Commons is being developed by Zaremba Metropolitan Midlothian, LLC. Since June, a great deal of progress has been made on this project.



Westchester Commons is a 900,000 square foot retail shopping center located at the northwest quadrant of Route 60 and Route 288. Westchester Commons is part of the 640 acre Watkins Centre mixed use development.

Westchester Commons will consist of large, national retailers including Target, Petco, Jo-Ann Fabric and Regal Cinemas around the perimeter of the center, with a concentration of small shops along an interior, pedestrian-friendly Main Street. Books-A-Million will be opening a new store at one end of Main Street. And Gold’s Gym is building a new 45,000 square-foot, $8 million facility near the other end of Main Street. A grand opening scheduled in the spring of 2009.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Wako Chemicals USA: Little firm, big responsibility

The Richmond-Times Dispatch has an article in today's Metro Business section about the important work going on at Wako Chemicals USA here in Chesterfield County.

The somewhat arcane but vital business of keeping you alive is thriving in Chesterfield County.

In a nondescript building off an industrial stretch of Bellwood Road between Interstate 95 and the James River, a Japanese chemical company is busy producing a fine, white powder used to test the safety of injectable medications and artificial joints.

Read the entire article at>>

Friday, December 05, 2008

Alstom Power Expanding Chesterfield County Plant

Alstom Power, Inc., held a groundbreaking celebration on December 3, 2008 for its new Blade Manufacturing Facility at their Willis Road plant in Chesterfield County.

The new 20,000 square foot facility will enable them to manufacture turbine blades from 2” to 38” in length. They are currently able to manufacture approximately 7,000 blades each year at their present facility but expect that this expansion will allow them to more than double their annual blade production.

Alstom opened its operations in Chesterfield County in the early 1970’s and have undergone several expansions. They currently employ over 150 employees at the Willis Road plant and expect to add 25 new employees over the next 36 months as their blade production capacity increases. The $7.5 million expansion is scheduled to be complete in early June 2009.

Richmond BizSense Covers Details of Sabra Project

Richmond BizSense has a good article about the deal that brought Sabra Dipping Company to Chesterfield County.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sabra Dipping Company To Open New Plant In Chesterfield

Sabra logo

Sabra Dipping Company will open a state-of-the-art food processing plant in Chesterfield County. The plant will produce award-winning Sabra branded dips and spreads including the country’s best-selling Sabra hummus and vegetable dips. Current projections estimate 260 new jobs will result from the facility, beginning in mid 2010. Chesterfield County successfully competed against two other states for the project. The 110,000 square foot facility will be located on 49 acres in the Ruffin Mill Industrial Park at the Walthall interchange off Interstate 95.

More information can be found on Chesterfield Business News.

Better Business Bureau Moving to Chesterfield County

The Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia has leased 7,000 sf. in the Moorefield V building located on 720 Moorefield Park Drive in Chesterfield County. The bureau, along with 25-30 employees is relocating from Richmond and will take occupancy in January 2009.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Chesterfield Firms Part of Export Boom

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports today that exports from Virginia companies have reached an all-time high. The article mentions two Chesterfield county firms, Premier Pet Products and Filtrona Richmond, as companies benefiting from this export boom.

>>Read the Richmond Times-Dispatch article

Thursday, September 04, 2008

German Automotive Supplier Will Open Facility in Chesterfield

Chesterfield Economic Development has announced that ept Automotive has leased 46,300 square feet of manufacturing space in River's Bend in Chesterfield County for a new facility to produce electrical connectors for the automotive industry.

The $5 million manufacturing operation will open in October and is expected to create more than 50 jobs during the next three years.

ept (Electronic Precision Technology) automotive is a subsidiary of ept GmbH, Peiting, Germany, located about 60 miles southwest of Munich. A global supplier to the automotive industry for integrated solutions for electrical connection technology, the firm has more than 700 employees.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chesterfield County Launchs Citizen Wi-Fi

Chesterfield County has launched a new service called Citizen Wi-Fi. The service enables library users and people visiting several other county buildings to access the Internet through their own wireless-enabled devices, such as laptops and PDAs.

There is no charge for this service, however, customers must have their own equipment, wireless card and software. The county’s Wi-Fi access is as secure as any open public access network, such as dial-up Internet accounts or public telephones, although it is recommended that customers use an SSL-encrypted Web page prior to sending or receiving confidential data.

To access the service, customers will need a Wi-Fi compliant (802.11 b/g) device installed on their laptops or PDAs, equipped with a standard Internet browser, to access the network. The system will work with either Mac or PC computers as long as the computer or PDA is equipped with a wireless card and the appropriate software.

For more information visit the Citizen Wi-Fi web page.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Candlewood Suites opens in the Walthall Enterprise Zone

Candlewood Suites recently opened in the Walthall area on 15820 Woods Edge Road. The 42,588 sq ft, 3-story hotel has 82 suites and is conveniently located off I-95 at the Woods Edge Road exit. The company plans to have a grand opening celebration in September.

Theses suites are designed especially for stays of a week or more. Each suite is equipped with a full kitchen including a dishwasher and refrigerator/freezer. For more information, visit

New medical practice to open in the Jefferson Davis Enterprise Zone

In mid-September, Dr. Jolanta Herrera will open a new medical facility on 2552 Aldridge Ave at the corner of Jefferson Davis Highway. Dr. Herrera specializes in diabetes, high blood pressure, skin infections and women’s health. This practice accepts walk-ins and welcomes both Spanish and English speaking patients. La practica de la dra. Herrera acepta pacientes de habla hispana.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bachrach Store Coming to Chesterfield Towne Center

Chesterfield Towne Center has announced the addition of Bachrach, an upscale men’s apparel and accessories store. The center will be the retailer’s first Richmond location and is expected to open in November 2008.

The Bachrach brand features men's suits, detailed dress shirts, and distinctive silk ties as well as other fashion essentials for the business professional and fashion-conscious male.

Bachrach will feature both exterior and interior entrances on the Huguenot Road side of Chesterfield Towne Center which has been undergoing redevelopment. The new store will occupy 4,140 square feet and will be located near the North mall entrance and Coldwater Creek. Bachrach’s other Virginia location is at Macerich’s Tysons Corner Center in McLean.

In the past year Chesterfield Towne Center has announced six new retailers including Aldo, Barnes & Noble, Charlotte Russe, Coldwater Creek, Hollister and Red Robin. At the same time, the center has been redeveloping the Huguenot Road side of the center to create a streetscape atmosphere with exterior facing retail.

Friday, August 15, 2008

On Target for March 2009

Construction is well under way at the new Target store at Westchester Commons. The 900,000 square foot retail shopping center is located at the northwest quadrant of Route 60 and Route 288. Westchester Commons is part of the 640 acre Watkins Centre mixed use development.

Westchester Commons will consist of large, national retailers including Target and Regal Cinemas around the perimeter of the center, with a concentration of small shops along an interior, pedestrian-friendly Main Street. In addition to offering residents convenient and quality shopping options, Westchester Commons will also provide a sense of charm and community with its gathering places.

Construction began in the fall of 2007 with a grand opening scheduled in the spring of 2009.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Virginia Is Best State for Business in 2008

For the third year in a row, has ranked Virginia as the best state in the nation for business. Virginia has been number one in the Best States ranking since 2006. Forbes uses six measures in its rankings: business costs, labor supply, regulatory environment, current economic climate, growth prospects and quality of life.

Forbes writes, "Virginia remains an excellent location for new or existing businesses. It has the best regulatory environment by our count, thanks to the second-best incentive programs in the country--as well as the fifth best tort atmosphere. Other high points include energy costs 30% below the national average and an educated labor force fueled by its proximity to Washington, D.C., and top colleges like the University of Virginia and William and Mary."

Read the rest of the story on

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Village Bank Plans Move to New HQ Building

Louis Llovio reported in the Richmond Times Dispatch yesterday that Village Bank and Trust Financial Corp. plans to move into its new corporate headquarters building in Watkins Centre on August 8th.

The company will utilize two floors of the 80,000 square foot building. The other two floors will be available for lease. The Village Bank mortgage division will relocate to the new facility from its current location in the Arboretum Office Park.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Regal Walls Rising in Westchester

The Westchester Commons 16 Theater is now under construction. The 66,185 square foot movie theater will feature 16 screens and more than 3,000 stadium style seats. The Regal Entertainment Group is constructing the first-class motion picture theater as an anchor of the “Main Street” section of the Westchester Commons mixed use power and lifestyle project.

The photograph featured on the right was taken from Route 288. The project is located at the northwest corner of Route 288 and Route 60.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

GRP Launches Its YouTube Channel

While it's probably not an "official launch", the Greater Richmond Partnership has begun posting videos on its YouTube Channel. Check them out at

Here's an example of one of the GRP videos.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chesterfield Reports on Enterprise Zone Results

Barbara DelVillar, Chesterfield's Enterprise Zone Coordinator, has submitted the 2007 Local Enterprise Zone Program Annual Report to the Department of Housing and Community Development. The activity in both enterprise zones was significant.

In the Jefferson Davis Enterprise Zone, which includes the Hull Street Road subzone, there were 96 new or expanded businesses. These projects created 221 new jobs and invested more than $41.7 million.

In the Walthall Enterprise Zone, which includes the Midlothian Turnpike and Meadowdale/Meadowbrook subzones, there were 45 new or expanded businesses. These projects created 231 new jobs and invested more than $78.7 million.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Virginia Pewtersmith Profiled in the Richmond-Times Dispatch

Joan Tupponce has written an article in Metro Business section of the Richmond-Times Dispatch about a Virginia Pewtersmith.
Family pewter shop perfects its craft
Chesterfield firm finds success in increasing sales and helping the disabled
>>> Read story
Virginia Pewtersmith, which is located at 420 Southlake Boulevard in Midlothian, produces a wide variety of hand crafted pewter items.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Midlothian Makes Money's list of America's best small cities

Top 100 Best Places to Live
"Plentiful jobs, excellent schools, affordable housing - America's best small cities have all that and more."

The August 2008 issue of Money Magazine has ranked Midlothian, Virginia as one of the top 100 "Best Places to Live".

The magazine writes,
"Founded as a coal-mining village centuries ago in the Virginia Colony, Midlothian has emerged as an in-demand suburb connected to greater Richmond.

The heritage is still visible, though, in the historic homes, taverns and railroad beds in town. The building of a major highway in 2004 spurred rapid growth in the village, including the ongoing construction of the Watkins Centre, a massive office complex and retail center two miles west of the village

But local residents have joined together to preserve the village's historic buildings, and members of the Midlothian Garden Club have been known to grace the stone entryway into the village with flowers."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Westchester Commons Site Work Progressing

American Infrastructure, the site contractor for Westchester Commons, has provided to Chesterfield Economic Development some recent aerial photographs of the project. Westchester Commons is being developed by Zaremba Metropolitan Midlothian, LLC.

Median Household Income Rises to $69,801 in Chesterfield

The Chesterfield Observer is reporting that "Chesterfield is 15 percent more affluent than Henrico County". The community newspaper has obtained and compiled the latest demographic data from Claritas. The Chesterfield Observer is currently presenting the information to business and civic groups around the county. More information about the report is available on its web site.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chesterfield Airport Has New Manager

As reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning, the Chesterfield County airport has a new manager. Tom Trudeau began work this week at the county owned facility located at the intersection of Route 10 and Route 288. The Department of Economic Development will be working closely with Tom and his staff to expand commercial development around the airport.

Tom has spent the last 14 years as the manager of the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport.

Zero's Subs Opens in Midlothian

Zero's Subs welcomes their newest location in Virginia with the opening of the Zero's Subs at 13825 Village Place Drive, Midlothian in the Midlothian Village Square.

Zero's Subs is one of the largest regional sandwich franchises in the U.S. with nearly 90 restaurants nationally and stores in New Zealand. Since its inception in Virginia Beach in 1967, Zero's Subs has created a proven fast casual concept which offers high quality foods such as hot oven-baked subs, hearth-baked bread, Hormel meats, Buffalo Chicken Wings, innovative health conscious salads, wraps and pizza, all under one roof.

"As local business owners, we are committed to staying true to Zero's mission of offering an alternative approach to fast food. We now offer a made to order salad bar with over 20 items, personal pizzas, Carolina BBQ, wraps and soups," says Bob Babb, owner and operator of the Midlothian franchise. "We offer healthier products, made to order with quality ingredients and a level of service that has become Zero's Subs banner of excellence."

For more information and hours of operation contact Zero's Subs at (804) 378-7827.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Virginia's Gateway Region Reports on Developments

Virginia's Gateway Region, one of two regional economic development partners that receive funding from Chesterfield County, has produced a video report on recent activity in the area.

Renee Wyatt-Chapline, Executive Director of VGR, worked with Dominion Virginia Power to produce the video report.

Monday, July 14, 2008

“My Greater Richmond” Photography Contest Underway

Take Your Best Shot.

The Greater Richmond Partnership wants to see the Greater Richmond area through your eyes-or better yet, your lens. Where do you barbecue in Chesterfield? Do you buy tomatoes in Hanover? Which parks do you visit in Henrico? Do you have a favorite lunch spot in Richmond? What do you see that makes Greater Richmond unique?

We live here. We work here. We play here.
Take your best shot...and enter to win. You could win some of over $2,000 in cash and prizes.

Visit for details.

The contest starts July 14th and ends August 23, 2008.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

CNBC Ranks Virginia #2 in Nation for Business

Virgina's business climate continues to receive accolades from 3rd party sources. CNBC has ranked Virginia as the second best state for business in 2008. This was a slight decline from the #1 ranking last year. Still Virginia has maintained a "business friendly" environment with a very competitive cost of doing business and an innovative technology infrastructure and workforce.

Chesterfield Economic Development will use the ranking in its recruitment efforts. These types of objective evaluations help companies compare areas as they look to relocate or expand.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

New features on

Chesterfield Economic Development has added several new features to its web site to easily share information with users and provide opportunities for comments and interaction. These new features are listed in the “stay connected” section on the home page.

CED Business Blog
This blog provides an area for discussing issues and news items about the business community in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Users may comment on any story or article posted on this blog or subscribe to the posts via RSS.

CED YouTube Channel
This is the official YouTube channel of Chesterfield Economic Development. Video content can be shared with others or embedded in other web sites. Users may post text comments or video responses about any video on the channel.

CED RSS News Feed
Chesterfield Economic Development now publishes Chesterfield Business News as a RSS feed thru FeedBurner. Users may subscribe via a variety of news readers or by standard email. The RSS feed may also be shared or embedded in other web sites.

CED Web Album
Chesterfield Economic Development is now sharing photos from around the county in the form of a Picasa Web Album. The keyword tagged photographs are geo-coded on a map to easily identify where each was taken. Others features include the ability view the images in Google Earth or as an automated slideshow. Users may also comment on any photograph or download a copy of a photo to their computer.

In addition to these new features, Chesterfield Economic Development also shares a calendar, (at ), which has detailed information about upcoming business related events. A click-thru translation of the entire web site into 12 different languages is also available. These features can also be found on the home page.

NACo Honors Business First Program

The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently acknowledged Business First Greater Richmond and its partners with a 2008 Achievement Award. This submission was recognized in the community and economic development category for its regional approach to servicing the needs of existing businesses.

Sara J. Dunnigan, Vice President of Existing Business Services of the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., states, “Our primary goal is to quickly connect existing businesses with the right information, resources and programs in ways that best support individual firms and also improve the business climate. This award affirms that our program is recognized as one of the best in its class.”

The Business First program was formally established in the fall of 2006 and builds on a 13-year commitment to focus on the needs of business through a proactive outreach effort. Partners include the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., the Greater Richmond Chamber, and the economic development professionals in Chesterfield County, Hanover County, Henrico County and the City of Richmond. It is supported by volunteers from the business community and a network of resource partners who share a commitment to business success.

Business First Greater Richmond uses face-to-face interviews with business leaders and CEO’s, an innovative and award-winning approach, and smart technology to better understand and respond to issues facing business. Since the program’s launch, it has touched more than 800 businesses representing more than 50,000 jobs in the community. Interviewed firms have shared plans to create more than 2400 new jobs and invest $71 million dollars in the community.

Business First Greater Richmond has benefitted the community and companies in many ways including:
  • Advocating for business on issues related to their expansion and growth
  • Connecting companies to workforce training resources and future employees
  • Assisting companies in identifying and selling to new customers in international markets
  • Providing research, business planning and technical support
  • Working with program partners to formulate strategies on how to best address regional business challenges
Chesterfield County submitted the application and received notice that Business First Greater Richmond will be honored at the annual NACo conference in Kansas City in July.

Business First Greater Richmond is a business retention and expansion program supported by the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc. More information on the program is available at

Monday, July 07, 2008

Industry Leaders Contribute to County’s Development

The Village News has also reported on the positive economic development activity over the past year. Here's an excerpt from the story.
"Business growth in Chesterfield County is looking positive, according to Garrett Hart, Development Manager for Chesterfield County Economic Development. So far in 2008, new business projects have created over $75 million in capital investment and 500 jobs, twice the business activity of last year.

Among those new businesses contributing to Chesterfield’s business growth are industry giants Mazda, GlaxoSmithKline, and Trainor Glass. The move of such high-profile companies, Hart notes, is especially advantageous for the county, as it will help attract other companies to the area."
Read the entire story at

Economic development is up dramatically over past year

The Chesterfield Observer recently ran an article about the amount of new economic development activity in Chesterfield over the past year. Here's an excerpt.
"When your batting average is better than twice as good as last year, you want to share it. That's the case for the Chesterfield Department of Economic Development.

In the fiscal year that started July 1, there has been $75 million in new investment in the county and 534 new jobs - more than double the corresponding period for the previous year of $31 million and 235 jobs."

Read the entire story at

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Welcome to the Chesterfield Business Blog

This blog has been set up by Chesterfield Economic Development to discuss issues and news items about the business community in Chesterfield County, Virginia. We welcome your comments.