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Local company gets new building; to add 44 jobs
Will move from county to Martinsville

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin staff writer

Stone Dynamics Inc. is relocating from Henry County into a larger facility in Martinsville, creating 44 new jobs and investing $1.0 million in new equipment over the next three years.

Mayor Kim Adkins made the announcement at Tuesday night’s city council meeting after the council approved accepting $310,000 in Tobacco Region Opportunity Funds that the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission granted for the project.

Stone Dynamics recently acquired the former Coca-Cola building on Memorial Boulevard to house its new manufacturing operations, retail and showroom space, according to a news release from the city and the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. which Adkins read at the meeting.

The company expects to be operating in the new facility by July 1. The 44 new jobs are in addition to the company’s 42 current employees.

Stone Dynamics, founded in 2000, uses state-of-the-art equipment to fabricate marble and granite for the hospitality, commercial and residential sectors, the release states.

“Born and raised in the Martinsville-Henry County area, I am very proud of my hometown and the wonderful people in our community,” Bob Lankford, owner of Stone Dynamics, said in the release. “I am very honored to be a small building block in the area’s continued success.”

The EDC worked in partnership with the city to secure the project. The project qualifies for local Enterprise Zone grants offered by the city. Through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, The Virginia Department of Business Assistance also will provide funds for the company’s recruitment and training activities, the release stated.

“The EDC’s number one priority is to assist existing companies to grow and expand,” Mark Heath, president/CEO of the EDC, stated in the release. “Stone Dynamics’ decision to expand locally is a testament to the strength of Martinsville-Henry County’s workforce and support services.”

Heath added during Tuesday night’s meeting, “It’s obviously great news for the area.” Counting this project, the EDC has helped leverage more than $27 million for economic development projects in Martinsville and Henry County since 2006, he said. Funding has come from such sources as the Tobacco Commission, the Governor’s Opportunity Fund and the Harvest Foundation, he said.

“The city of Martinsville is certainly pleased with Stone Dynamics’ decision to locate their operations in the former Coca-Cola plant on Memorial Boulevard,” Adkins said in the release. “It’s a good location and a great use of an existing facility, and we look forward to helping them grow their business. Their decision is a confirmation that our community continues to be a great place for existing businesses desiring to expand, or a new business seeking a start-up location.”

Other council members also praised the announcement.

Also Tuesday, council heard a presentation by Community Development Planner Susan McCulloch, who said the installation of signs directing drivers and pedestrians primarily to and within uptown Martinsville should be complete by the end of the week.

A total of 53 signs are being installed: 12 with double poles, 22 with single poles and 19 single poles with parking messages. Harvest Foundation provided $193,860 for the project, and the city and Gateway Streetscape Foundation provided or are providing in-kind contributions, according to McCulloch.

Organizations listed on the signs include: New College Institute, Virginia Museum of Natural History, Piedmont Arts, TheatreWorks, MHC Heritage Center & Museum, Uptown Connection Trail, Silverbell Trail, YMCA, Blue Ridge Regional Library, City Municipal Building, Uptown Farmers’ Market, Dick & Willie Passage, Rives Theatre, Studio 107, Martinsville High School, Fayette Area Historical Initiative, The Big Chair, Visitor Center, Artisan Center, DMV, MHC Chamber of Commerce, Historic Uptown, West Piedmont Business Development Center and Courthouse Square.

Locations of the signs include: U.S. 58, Virginia 57, Route 650, Smnith River Sports Complex, Commonwealth Boulevard, Memorial Boulevard, Starling Avenue, and Market, Lester, Church, Main and Fayette streets, according to McCulloch’s presentation.

The goals of the sign project are to show drivers/pedestrians the way to arts/cultural attractions and entities in Martinsville; provide information and direction; and for the signs to be visible, readable, consistent, attractive, durable and memorable, according to the presentation.

In 2010 the Uptown Martinsville Revitalization Plan recommended a comprehensive “wayfinding” program. The report said, among other things, that the existing signs diverted traffic around uptown rather than toward it.

“Once in uptown, there are no pedestrian-scale signs highlighting attractions or destinations. The existing public parking signs are difficult to see from the road and are located in the parking lot rather than before it so as to alert drivers to upcoming parking opportunities. The existing gateway signs near Commonwealth Blvd. and Market Street are too small to be noticed from a car,” it added.


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