A groundbreaking ceremony will be held for RIVERSTONE in Halifax County, Virginia, on October 31, 2002 at 9:00 A.M. The Honorable Tim Kaine, Lieutenant Governor and Mr. Mark Kilduff, Executive Director of Virginia Economic Development Partnership are confirmed to participate.
RIVERSTONE is a planned premier technology business park designed to attract technology based companies to complement the existing industrial base and develop higher education partnerships. RIVERSTONE is located on US Highway 58, two miles from the intersection of US 58 and US 501.
A key element in the development of RIVERSTONE is the telecommunications infrastructure. Building upon the various broadband initiatives currently being undertakenby the Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission , RIVERSTONE will utilize LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution System) broadband wireless connectivity, unlicensed wireless technology, fixed fiber-optic and copper facilities, supporting infrastructure including a tower site and communication facilities to support high speed data and voice telecommunication applications. LMDS is a two-way digital wireless communications medium that can carry voice, data, and video traffic. In 1998, Virginia Tech obtained the LMDS spectrum license for South Boston.
The Southside area has recently faced economic challenges resulting from cutbacks in the traditional tobacco and textiles based economies. Consequently, the federal, state, and local governments are actively seeking solutions to boost the area’s economy. New information-based employers are a target for this park. Funding assistance from the federal, state, and local levels made the RIVERSTONE project feasible. The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) funded $1 million with money earmarked for telecommunication service, water, sewer and road. This was the first telecommunications grant in the nation funded by EDA. The Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission has funded this project over a two year period, and the Virginia Department of Transportation has provided Industrial Access Road and Revenue Sharing monies with local matches committed. The infrastructure portion of this project is estimated at approximately $7 million.
Building development in RIVERSTONE will be done to further attract research based companies, growing businesses in the life sciences fields, corporate headquarters, and information processing facilities. A building plan is underway that will provide for flexible office space, corporate location space, flexible lab space, and potential incubator space. Companies in these areas will bringvaluable resources to the region, including long-term tax revenue and high paying jobs. In return, they will be seeking a high quality of life, a well educated workforce, and convenient infrastructure for their employees as well as their suppliers.
RIVERSTONE currently contains approximately 150 acres and is strategically located on U.S. Highway 58/360, 2 miles west of U.S. 501, one hour north of the Research Triangle Park and the Raleigh/Durham area, 25 minutes east of Danville. Halifax County has many unique assets that set the community apart from other rural areas, including the Berry Hill Conference Center (located across the Dan River from RIVERSTONE), Virginia International Raceway Motorsport Country Club and Raceplex (automotive industrial park), the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, and The Carlbrook School.
Phase one construction of RIVERSTONE is scheduled for completion in the Spring of 2003. Timmons Inc. from Richmond is the selected engineering firm who teamed with Baskervill & Son, also from Richmond, and Tradewinds Network Services from Roanoke, Va. The general contractor is Haymes Brothers, Inc. from Chatham, Va.