The Virginia Tobacco Commission has awarded a fourth grant to the Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) in excess of $4.4 million. The award, serving as a match to $3.3 million grant award from the Virginia Department of Transportation, completes funding for the expansion of Otterdam Road to serve the site from I-95. Greensville County, Mecklenburg County and the City of Emporia are partners in the Regional Industrial Facilities Authority created to support the site’s growth. The localities submitted a joint application to the Tobacco Commission for this funding opportunity.
Senator and Tobacco Commission Vice-Chair Frank Ruff stated,”The Tobacco Commission is very supportive of the regional effort that is being made in Greensville County toward the development of a first class mega site that will have the assets needed to attract a major employer. In the last several years, Virginia had missed opportunities to recruit major companies because we were not ready with a site large enough to fulfill their needs. All of us believe MAMac will allow Virginia to compete.”
Otterdam Road, a two lane rural route, will serve as the gateway to MAMaC. Engineering for the road upgrades from Interstate 95 exit 13 to the northern portion of MAMaC is 90% complete. The Virginia Department of Transportation awarded a $508,000 grant to fund the engineering. This award was made through the Economic Development Access program. Construction will begin by summer 2014.
MAMaC is a 1,600 acre McCallum Sweeney Certified “Mega-Site” located in Greensville County just north of Emporia with direct access to the CSX mainline rail and approximately 1.3 miles of frontage along Interstate 95. The development of this project will be transformational for the entire 60 mile radius surrounding the site. In correspondence to supporting county officials, Greensville County Administrator David Whittington said the MAMaC site is the only certified “mega-site” in Virginia, and one of only 10 in the U.S. He stated five other certified “mega-sites” across the country had already been sold, with each site averaging more than $1 billion in investment and creating on average more than 1,000 jobs.
Regional economic impact analysis indicates an economic benefit ranging from $2.8 billion and 2,487 permanent jobs for an advanced manufacturing center, to $3.7 billion and 3,297 permanent jobs for an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) such as Toyota or Volkswagen.
The Tobacco Commission Mega Site grant program is a five part opportunity for communities to greatly advance the development of their large scale industrial sites. MAMaC is one of only four sites throughout the Tobacco Commission Region to receive funding through the program this year.
The Virginia Department of Transportation awarded the project $3.3 million through the Revenue Sharing program. The “Revenue Sharing Program” provides additional funding for use by a county to construct, reconstruct, improve or maintain the highway systems within such county. Locality funds are matched, dollar for dollar, with state funds. The Tobacco Commission award along with the Revenue Sharing award completes the $7.7 million balance for the road expansion.
Chairman of the Greensville County Board of Supervisors, Peggy Wiley, stated, “Without the generous support of the Tobacco Commission and the Virginia Department of Transportation MAMaC would continue to be a dream. The development of this site has already brought three localities and several state agencies together in partnership. Greensville County is excited about the additional opportunities a future client will bring to the community.”
To ensure MAMaC is developed effectively for a target client, a development team has been assembled. The team is comprised of representatives from partnering localities, service providers, marketing partners, workforce training providers and engineers. These representatives will assist in the development and marketing of MAMaC.