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Shell building slowdown
Construction delayed due to winter weather
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Due to the recent harsh weather, a June completion date now is anticipated for the construction of the shell building on Lot 8 in the Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek industrial park, said Henry County Administrator Tim Hall. The building, shown above on Thursday, originally had been slated for completion in either March or April. (Bulletin photos by Mike Wray)
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Friday, March 7, 2014

By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer

A rough winter has delayed construction of the area’s newest shell building by a few months.

A June completion date now is anticipated for the construction of the shell building on Lot 8 in the Patriot Centre at Beaver Creek industrial park, said Henry County Administrator Tim Hall.

“We pushed back the March-April time frame, obviously because the weather has had a huge impact” on construction, Hall said Thursday. “Rain is one thing,” but frozen precipitation stalled work crews. “It makes it very difficult to maneuver” around a work site “ ... when you’re trying to dodge snow piles.”

Even in what has been a severe winter, work crews have graded the site, erected some steel framing and installed some storm drains, Hall said. But overall, “the project has been seriously impacted by the weather.”

Blair Construction of Gretna was awarded the $3.5 million construction contract last fall after city, county and Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC) officials approved the project in September. Work began on the 96,970-square-foot building on the estimated 17-acre tract shortly after that.

The shell building will be constructed with high-quality materials, officials have said. It will be adaptable to most industrial needs and could be expanded to more than 180,000 square feet.

The county, city, EDC, the Chamber’s Partnership for Economic Growth (C-PEG) and The Harvest Foundation (both of which help fund the EDC) partnered on the project, with the EDC to pay startup costs of engineering, interest during construction and interest for up to one year after completion. The agency has budgeted $150,000 for the project.

The county and city will pay the interest in years two through five on a customary two-thirds, one-third split, with the county’s share at $45,500 annually and the city’s at about $22,750 per year.

The types of businesses most likely to be interested in locating in the shell building are aerospace, food processing, plastics and data centers, officials have said.

This is the third shell building on which the localities and agencies have partnered.

The first shell building — an estimated 50,000 square feet — was expanded, and with additions, it now is home to RTI International Metals. Another company, Commonwealth Laminating and Coating, is located in the second building, a 75,000-square-foot structure.

During the construction phases of those projects, both generated interest, and according to Hall, this project is no different, despite the delay.

“I do know there have been some conversations on it” between the EDC and potential companies, Hall said. He added that some have asked for specs on the building or have inquired about when it will be complete.

“Once it is built, it will still be an item that will draw people in,” he said, and added that he is convinced the new shell building will have a positive effect on economic development similar to the other two buildings.

“Not only did we sell the first two, but they generated traffic. I think the third one will, too,” Hall said. “It will just get built on a little later” time frame than expected.

Mark Heath, president and CEO of the EDC, said the project has generated some interest, but he declined to comment further.


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