The Town of Christiansburg has agreed to help fund the expansion of Falling Branch Corporate Park in a joint effort with Montgomery County.
Town Council voted unanimously at its regular meeting last week to provide up to $300,000 for sewer and water hookups for the proposed development.
Montgomery County’s Director of Economic Development, Brian Hamilton, spoke to council about the idea of applying for a $300,000 grant from GO Virginia, an arm of the Virginia Development of Housing and Community Development, and $500,000 from VDOT to build roads for the expansion.
The county bought the 125-acre parcel in 2017 for $2.5 million, but plans to only develop 36 acres of it right now. He said that receiving the grants was essential in the expansion moving forward.
The idea has not been presented to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors yet, but county spokesperson Jennifer Harris said that officials wanted to gauge Christiansburg’s interest before moving forward.
According to Hamilton’s presentation, multiple localities must be involved in the project in order to qualify for the GO Virginia grant, so Christiansburg as a co-applicant was needed to move forward.
Harris said that supervisors will be discussing the matter soon, and that the first application deadline is Oct. 15, with the second being sometime in January.
According to Hamilton’s presentation, regional priority industry clusters include manufacturing,life sciences and health care, food and beverage processing, emerging technologies and IT.
Hamilton said that if everything goes as planned, construction on the project would likely begin July 1, 2019, the first day of fiscal year 2020.
The Falling Branch Corporate Park is mostly located within the Town of Christiansburg, though the county originally purchased the land.
The two localities have jointly developed the land with the county grading the land and running roads through it, with the town installing water and sewer lines.
“Part of the Falling Branch Corporate Park is currently located in Montgomery County. However, the plan is to do a boundary line adjustment and place the county’s portion of the [latest] parcel within the Town of Christiansburg, allowing for the addition of the town’s water and sewer,” Harris wrote in an email. “Once the boundary line is adjusted, Christiansburg will be able to tax the property and any future tenants.”