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Posted: July 9, 2009
Virginia county working on nanotechnology park
(Nanowerk News) A regional economic development body with a vacant, nearly 1,000-acre business park in Pulaski County endorsed Wednesday the concept of committing a small piece of it to a $20 million home for nanotechnology businesses and education.
Virginia's First Regional Industrial Facility Authority earmarked $20,000 to the effort and then adjourned without another meeting scheduled until January.
That left unclear how the body made of up area government representatives might address numerous unresolved details, such as how to pay for the park. But its support gives a steering committee a green light to move forward with a preliminary marketing plan.
As envisioned, the proposed Virginia Nanotechnology Park would feature a 58,280-square-foot, multitenant building for lease to energy, environmental and medical companies using nanotechnology. In a takeoff on the words nanotechnology, energy, environment and medical operations, the project is being called NEEMO.
Nanotech park tenants would bring high-tech jobs and generate tax revenue to be shared by all participating governments, under the concept. Worker training would be offered on the site.
The 935-acre New River Valley Commerce Park in Pulaski County, which is owned by authority members, is vacant. The vision is to put up nine buildings with a combined size of about 500,000 square feet on 35 of its acres. The $20 million, if raised, would pay for a road, some of the site work and the first building, an anchor structure with room for companies and classrooms.
The prevailing funding proposal calls for raising about $7.2 million from investors who may include member governments, institutions and private parties, and $13 million from state and federal government grants and other support.
While the project awaits approval, John White, Pulaski's economic development director, urged the group to consider creating an interim home for nanotechnology businesses at the New River Valley Competitiveness Center in Fairlawn. The authority took no action on that issue.