The New River Valley Commerce Park and the New River Valley Airport are teaming up in an effort to lure e-commerce companies to Pulaski County.
The park – owned by Virginia’s First Regional Industrial Facility Authority – sits adjacent to the airport, so the partnership was a logical move, according to park Executive Director Danny Wilson. In-depth conversations with several companies have already occurred and a deal may be imminent with one of them that would be an eight-figure investment to Dublin, he said.
“I would hope in the next six months we will have one of these projects moving forward,” Wilson said.
A news release on the partnership stated that e-commerce is a growing industry, and Pulaski County has the components necessary to lure those companies to the area.
“The availability of a runway to land air freight, and the proximity of land to develop sorting, processing, and warehousing facilities, coupled with the region’s proximity to I-81 and I-77 makes the NRV Airport and NRV Commerce Park a prime location,” the release stated.
Additionally, the airport recently was awarded nearly $750,000 from two grants to expand its parking ramp. Airport Manager Keith Holt said expansion of 21,675 square feet will increase the existing space by 20% to 25%. Construction started recently and he said it should be completed in the next 90 days unless there are delays from inclement weather.
Wilson said in addition to the revenue these companies would generate is the jobs they would also bring to the area.
It opens us up to a new sector of employment in the New River Valley,” he said.
Bringing new jobs to the area has a ripple affect for other industries such as construction and the housing market as new employees come to the area.
Airport commission Chairman Nick Glenn said it has seen a 215% increase in its freight traffic from 2018 and is following similar trends in the U.S. when it comes to being a freight hub in the region.
We “are following freight facility developments at other airports such as a new air freight logistics center in Anchorage, Alaska as well as expanded air cargo facilities in Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky. Similar to the airline hub and spoke model, these freight facilities will need other feeder facilities to better serve the end users, and we think the NRV Airport coupled with the NRV Commerce Park would be a great location,” he said in the release.
Currently the only company at the commerce park is Red Sun Farms, a subsidiary of Mexico-based vegetable grower Agricola El Rosal, which opened in 2014. The high-tech greenhouse operation was the first American facility for the company and today supplies tomatoes grown in Dublin to Virginia, Tennessee and North Carolina.
The NRV Airport Commission and the NRV Commerce park are comprised of the same seven members: the counties of Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski; the city of Radford and towns of Christiansburg, Dublin and Pulaski.