Stafford supervisors have transferred a prime piece of unused property along Interstate 95 to the county’s Economic Development Authority for development, sale or transfer.
Joel Griffin, chairman of Stafford’s Economic Development Authority, said an agent will be hired to market the property. Griffin hopes whatever business eventually lands there will generate job opportunities for county residents and revenue for the county.
The county’s EDA facilitates business expansion and growth in Stafford. The authority invests in property, leases property and has bonding authority.
“We try to create viable businesses in the area where people can get jobs,” Griffin said.
Much of the wooded 10.6 acres off Centreport Parkway property runs adjacent to the southbound lanes of I–95, between Ramoth Church Road and Aviation Way. The land was previously owned by Chesapeake Holdings, but due to erosion issues and the cost to mitigate them, the company offered the property to the county at no cost.
After the county took control of the property, it invested $30,000 to fix the erosion issues. That work included removing a failed stormwater pipe on the property and using stone to shore up several eroded slopes, according to county spokesman Andrew Spence.
Proceeds from the sale of the land will be used to reimburse the county.
Even with the erosion issue solved, nearly four acres of the parcel is unusable due to factors such as utilities and drainage easements associated with a storm water pond.
“For the time being, there’s nothing specifically planned for the property,” said John Holden, the county’s director of economic development and tourism. “Property in that area of the county is generally utilized for manufacturing companies or e-commerce distribution.”
Holden said Stafford’s EDA has had success with properties it has acquired and then put back on the tax rolls.
“That’s the intent of this property,” said Holden. “It was literally sitting there, not developed, and not on the tax rolls. The EDA is in a good position to make that happen.”
In 2006, Stafford’s EDA issued bonds through Fredericksburg’s EDA to help fund the Stafford Hospital. Two years later, Stafford’s EDA gave the Globe & Laurel Restaurant $50,000 toward relocation and renovation costs, as well as another $33,000 annually over the next three years.
The authority also helped negotiate a land exchange deal with the Stafford Regional Airport, which allowed for an expansion of the airport’s runway in exchange for industrial-zoned property in the county. Most recently, it sold property in the 1300 block of Jefferson Davis Highway to a buyer who plans to develop an industrial facility there.