On hand for the VCEDA grant closing and ceremonial check presentation for the Southern Gap Industrial Park Infrastructure project, were from left, Scotty Wampler, Buchanan County marketing director; Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel; Jay Rife, chairman of the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority; and Carroll Branham, chairman of the Buchanan County Board of Supervisors.

GRUNDY, VA – DECEMBER 12, 2019 — An up to $2,154,240 grant from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority to be used for infrastructure needs at the county’s Southern Gap Industrial Park was awarded recently.

The funds will be used to finance site grading, site development, road construction, paving, parking lot construction, storm drainage improvements, utilities installations and extensions, fiber optic installations and extensions and other improvements in the Southern Gap Industrial Park and development area. Included will be the development of two additional project-ready graded sites. One site will be approximately 5.1 acres, and the other will be approximately 4.8 acres.

The grant funds will also be used to develop a paved access road from State Route 744 to the shell building now under construction at Southern Gap and to extend the access road to connect to the future Greenbrier Road extension.

“VCEDA is pleased to assist the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority in the continued development of its Southern Gap properties,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “Just last month, we were pleased to be involved in the announcement that the county IDA’s new shell building, which is still under construction, already has a tenant committed to move in – Paul’s Fan Company — bringing with it 40 new jobs and retaining 42 others. Planning now ensures the county is ready when future opportunities arise.”

The Southern Gap development is a 3,153-acre area in Buchanan County, which is controlled by the Buchanan County IDA.

“The development of the proposed access road also offers a convenient opportunity to simultaneously complete additional grading and site work on each side of the road, creating two additional future industrial sites that will then be project-ready,” said Jay Rife, chairman of the Buchanan County Industrial Development Authority. “The end result will see the partial completion of a cluster of new, marketable industrial properties at Southern Gap, anchored by the 80,000-square-foot shell facility to be occupied by Paul’s Fan Company.

“The funds will also extend base utilities along the new access road and complete paving work around the shell building, including an attached parking lot area,” Rife continued. “Lastly, the funds will extend high-speed fiber throughout Southern Gap where fiber does not already exist. This is expected to extend fiber to every potential development site in the current Southern Gap master plan.”

About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vaceda.org  or www.e-Region.org.