Local Business and Economic Development
A Franklin County native who is now Government Affairs Director for Gentry Locke’s Richmond office says it is essential in these times for businesses to communicate clearly to their employees — and their customers. Matthew Moran says economic conditions being what they are, a business’s margin of error is all that much tighter, and communication become all that much more important. More from WLNI’s Evan Jones:
Among the early business casualties of the coronavirus pandemic and crowd size restrictions – dining areas at restaurants that now must rely on preparing meals customers eat at home. There’s a special promotion for those businesses all this week as WLNI’s Gene Marrano reports:
The TGI Fridays restaurant on Timberlake Road is “permanently closed” with no advance notice. A sign is posted at the restaurant entrance saying that is the case, and a person answering the phone said the same thing but would not offer any further comment. The posted sign reads: “Effective March 9, 2020, this TGI Fridays location is permanently closed. We appreciated your loyalty and hope to see you at one of our other locations soon.” Further information is not yet available.
NEWS RELEASE: BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT) announced today that the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program has awarded subsidiary BWXT Nuclear Operations Group, Inc. (BWXT NOG) new contracts with options totaling approximately $1 billion for the manufacture of naval nuclear reactor components.
“We are proud to provide nuclear propulsion systems that enable U.S. Navy sailors and aviators to protect freedom around the globe,” BWXT President and Chief Executive Officer Rex D. Geveden said. “We appreciate the U.S. Navy’s continued trust in our employees and our capability to perform this important work.”
The initial contract award booked in the fourth quarter of 2019 constitutes two-thirds of the anticipated total value. The remaining contract option award is expected later this year, subject to annual Congressional appropriations.
A variety of naval nuclear reactor component manufacturing and material procurement activities will be performed over the term of this contract to support Ford-class carrier construction. This work will be performed at BWXT NOG locations in Lynchburg, Virginia; Barberton and Euclid, Ohio; and Mount Vernon, Indiana.
The award announced today is in addition to the submarine reactor component and fuel manufacturing and long-lead materials contracts announced last year. Together, these contracts represent a total of nearly $4 billion in additional naval nuclear propulsion work awarded in 2019, including future-year options.
A Forest plant that makes specialty heavy and aerial lift trucks is expanding and creating 61 new jobs. Governor Northam’s office announced today that Custom Truck One Source will invest more than $2.5 million to double its production. The company’s website says the facility “sits on a 28-acre campus that includes a 42,000 sq. ft. assembly plant, a 40,000 square foot fabrication facility, repair shop, and 5 massive paint booths.”
NEWS RELEASE: Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Custom Truck One Source, a manufacturer and distributor of specialized trucks and heavy equipment, will invest $2.6 million to expand its existing manufacturing operation in Bedford County. The company will double production at its operation in Forest, Virginia to meet growing demand from its customers, creating 61 new jobs.
Flowers Foods will expand its Lynchburg bakery operations, creating 15 new jobs. Flowers operates 46 bakeries in 18 states, and its brands range from Nature’s Own to Tastycake. The Lynchburg bakery expansion will transform it into an organic facility.
NEWS RELEASE: Governor Ralph Northam today announced that Flowers Foods, one of the nation’s largest producers of packaged baked foods, will invest $25 million to expand and transform its Lynchburg bakery into an organic facility, creating 15 new jobs. The bakery, which the company has operated for more than 40 years, will serve the Mid-Atlantic market. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project.
NEWS RELEASE: Dick’s Sporting Goods is coming to River Ridge with an anticipated opening in fall 2020. This is a significant addition to the property that paves the way for other big name retailers to open at River Ridge.
River Ridge officially announces the fully executed lease to open at the East End of River Ridge’s new development. Construction on the East End is underway, with the demolition of the former Sears.
Once the new Dick’s Sporting Goods location opens at River Ridge, the store at the Wards Crossing shopping center will close. The 45,000-square-foot River Ridge location will be 50% larger than the location at Wards Crossing, allowing for more merchandise and a greater assortment of departments than those available at the current location.
“There has been a lot of speculation surrounding this announcement, so we are thrilled to finally be able to share the news,” said Craig Pettitt, Vice President Retail Real Estate at Liberty University, owners of River Ridge. “With many student athletes in the area and a variety of outdoor activities in Central Virginia, we think Dick’s Sporting Goods makes perfect sense as an addition to the property.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods is the first new retailer with plans to open on the East End, and Pettitt says that guests can expect similar announcements to come.
“We expect more big name retailers to follow now that River Ridge has secured Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Pettitt said.
NEWS RELEASE: On Wednesday, December 4, City Planner Tom Martin received notification from Acres of Virginia, the engineering firm representing NRM Associates, that their client would be postponing The Villas at Lynchburg project again and would not be going to the December 11 Planning Commission meeting or the January 14, 2020 City Council meeting. Acres of Virginia did not offer a reason on behalf of their clients for this decision.
This is the second time the property owner has requested that the project be removed from the Planning Commission agenda. The first request was granted to allow the property owner time to revise their site plan after taking into consideration feedback from the residents in the adjoining neighborhood.