The Virginia Tobacco Commission has awarded the Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC) $6.1 million to acquire additional land and continue developing the industrial site. 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 Frank Ruff, who serves as the Vice Chair for the Tobacco Commission states, “It is great that we are moving forward on a mega site in the region. I am additionally proud that political leaders in Emporia, Greensville County, and Mecklenburg County have wisely joined forces for the good of people of region.”

Otterdam Road, a two lane rural route, will serve as the gateway to MAMaC. The Virginia Department of Transportation has awarded a $508,000 grant for engineering of the necessary upgrades to Otterdam road from Interstate 95 exit 13 to the Center’s entrance. This award was made through the Economic Development Access program.

Glenn Barbour, Chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Supervisors states, “Mecklenburg County is pleased to be a part of this mega site in Greenville County. We believe this alliance with our partners in other local governments will bring rewards to our region with economic growth and jobs. We are truly excited about the TIC and VDOT awards that will get this project underway. This project we believe bodes well for the future of Mecklenburg County and our region. Thanks to everyone at the State and Local level who worked together to make this project a reality.”

Mary Person, Mayor of the City of Emporia adds, “We are excited about the awards from the Virginia Tobacco Commission and the Economic Development Access program to continue with advancement of the Mega site. The Mega site will provide economic growth and jobs for our area and is a win-win for all localities involved. We are appreciative to all those involved in helping to move this project forward.”

MAMaC is a 1,545 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 four part opportunity for communities to greatly advance the development of their large scale industrial sites. MAMaC is one of only seven sites throughout the Tobacco Commission Region to receive funding through the program and the only site to receive their request in full in 2013.

VDOT recognized the need for localities to utilize EDA funding earlier in the process to facilitate development of sites meeting the Major Employment and Investment (MEI) criteria. VDOT’s program went through several changes in the past year to accommodate this need. The plan-design project for accessing the MAMaC development is the first of its kind approved under the Commonwealth Transportation Board’s revised provisions for the Economic Development Access (EDA) Program.

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.