While Augusta County laid out the welcome mat to new business and industry back in the mid-1990s, one of its newest commerce parks is still struggling to attract tenants. Mill Place Commerce Park in Verona still has only one industrial tenant. Wednesday night, citizens can weigh in on a plan that aims to generate new growth there.
The commerce park is 340 acres and within sight of the interstate. It also offers ready-made road access and has underground utilities ready to go. Unfortunately for that location, lots of industrial parks can say the same thing. So Augusta County is trying to make the land more marketable.
Maintenance teams are making seasonal spruce-ups to the commerce park, while county supervisors consider updating its master plan.
The changes would allow more of the park to take advantage of a mixed-use zoning, known as "planned commerce." This could attract a growing number of manufacturers who want an accompanying retail store.
"Many, many of the site searchers that we have hosted are looking for flexibility in their product, particularly if they have a consumable, if they have consumer products that they want to bring customers on-site. They want that ability to have showrooms. They want the ability to bring the customer in so they have a good experience," said Dennis Burnett, Augusta economic director.
Supervisors are also looking into the cost of creating a construction-ready section of about 40 acres, making it quicker for industry to develop on the rolling terrain of Mill Place, and linking their access road with Staunton's industrial park.
A public hearing on the Mill Place conceptual plan will take place Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona.
On Wednesday, Augusta County supervisors voted to take advantage of the mixed-use zoning known as "planned commerce."