Suffolk vote is boost for region

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Suffolk City Council did the entire region, including Western Tidewater, a huge favor last week by approving the CenterPoint warehousing and distribution development.

CenterPoint Properties, an Illinois-based developer, now has permission to develop the land it owns on U.S. Route 58, or Holland Road, near Lakeland High School. The plan, as conceived by CenterPoint, will include 13 buildings, 5.8 million square feet of light and heavy industrial, distribution, office space and general commercial facilities, as well as a rail yard adjacent to the CSX rail line.

The project, CenterPoint estimates, will bring about 3,000 jobs to the region. Many of those jobs will go to residents of Franklin, Southampton County and Isle of Wight County. Many other CenterPoint employees will choose to live in Western Tidewater due to the easy commute and the great quality of life our communities offer.

The job estimate doesn’t include spin-off industries and retail developments that are sure to come as a result of the project.

Give credit to Suffolk elected officials, who faced some vocal opposition to the project, for being progressive and thinking about this region’s long-range future. Western Tidewater needs jobs in the worst way, and CenterPoint is now poised to provide them.