Louisa County gets grant for business park

Work on the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park is moving ahead, thanks to a $600,850 grant awarded to Louisa County on June 24. The grant from GO Virginia, a business-led economic development group backed by state funding, will pay for the second phase of due diligence work at the roughly 700-acre property. Timmons Group, a

A preliminary map of the planned regional business park prepared by Timmons Group.

Work on the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park is moving ahead, thanks to a $600,850 grant awarded to Louisa County on June 24.

The grant from GO Virginia, a business-led economic development group backed by state funding, will pay for the second phase of due diligence work at the roughly 700-acre property. Timmons Group, a Richmond-based consultant that conducted the initial site analysis in 2018, will lead the study.

“With programs like GO Virginia, we are helping localities in every corner of the Commonwealth advance the regional priorities that are unique to their own communities,” Governor Ralph Northam said as he announced the Louisa grant.

“The county is grateful that the state and our regional partners see the positive potential in the Shannon Hill Regional Business Park,” Christian Goodwin, Louisa county administrator, said.

This was the second time the county applied for a large GO Virginia grant. The first application was stopped in its tracks last November when the Louisa County Board of Supervisors voted to cancel the park project. But later, the board reversed course, and voted in January to buy the 683 acres.

The grant was approved at the state board meeting in Richmond. It was previously backed by the Region 9 board, based in Charlottesville, and by a workgroup within the Department of Housing and Community Development, which staffs the state board. The park also has support from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, which says Louisa’s site is a priority for state officials as they work to attract companies from other parts of the country and abroad.

Among the consultants’ tasks will be to conduct a traffic impact analysis. That’s become a priority for some business park critics, who worry that workers drawn to future jobs at the site will contribute to a traffic nightmare and crashes on Shannon Hill Road (Rt. 605).

The Louisa County Board of Supervisors agreed at its June 3 meeting to prepare a traffic study to include some key intersections on Shannon Hill Road, including Jefferson Highway (Rt. 33) and Old Mountain Road (Rt. 640). The analysis will include traffic impacts at each phase of development, when the park is fully occupied and at six years after completion.

(Article by David Holtzman)

This is a partial article. Read the full story in The Central Virginian’s June 27, 2019 issue.