Virginia Beach city leaders thanked Governor Bob McDonnell today for continuing to fund the city-state partnership that continues the response to encroachment and safety issues around Naval Air Station Oceana. McDonnell recently included $7.5 million in his FY14 budget amendments to help buy incompatible homes, businesses and properties around the master jet base.
“Seven years ago, we partnered with the commonwealth and promised to do whatever it takes to save Oceana,” said Mayor William D. Sessoms, Jr. “We take this promise very seriously. We are grateful to Governor McDonnell, the General Assembly and Terrie Suit, the state Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, for maintaining this vital partnership. It means so much to our military men and women, to the City of Virginia Beach and the nation.”
Each year since 2007, the city and state have dedicated $7.5 million each – a total of $15 million annually – to buy properties around the master jet base from willing sellers. This prevents the development of new homes and businesses that are incompatible with the jet base’s mission, and rolls back existing incompatible developments. The city and state began this program in response to a 2005 recommendation from the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission to move the master jet base from Virginia Beach.
The Mosaic Tile Company, the largest independent distributor of ceramic tile and stone in the Mid-Atlantic, has purchased 2644 Barrett Street in Virginia Beach for $1.5 million. The property comprises 23,900 square feet of industrial space that will become a state-of-the-art design center, which will open in August 2013. The company is currently located in a 12,000-square-foot facility on Avenger Drive in Virginia Beach.
The expansion will create between six to eight new jobs with an average salary of $55,000. Mosaic Tile plans to invest $1.85 million to renovate the property, formerly the Hangar 9 facility. The building is located within the Lynnhaven Strategic Growth Area, and is in one of the Development Authority’s first industrial parks.
Workplace Solutions, Inc. has leased 5,000 square feet of space at 317 Village Road, Suite 103 in Virginia Beach. The company, owned by MaryAnn Woods, specializes in designing corporate interiors and office furniture. The company is moving from its 1,300-square-foot location at 524 Central Drive in Virginia Beach, which was established in 2000.
“This represents a significant expansion for the company, which is classified as Women-Owned and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business,” said Warren D. Harris, director of Virginia Beach Economic Development. “It is important to retain small businesses like Workplace Solutions in the City and provide any assistance we can to help with their success and growth.”
Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms was named the elected official of the year by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC). The ADC is a national organization comprised of more than 200 communities with a strong military presence. The annual awards recognize communities, policymakers and/or elected officials for efforts to build partnerships with a military installation that have enhanced the military value and the overall economic development of the community. The program is the centerpiece of the organization’s efforts to identify and promote best practices.
“This is an honor that Virginia Beach is once again in the spotlight with our military neighbors at Oceana,” said Mayor Sessoms. “I share this award with many people in our city and the Commonwealth of Virginia who are working to ensure this vital economic engine remains in Virginia Beach.”