Tidewater Logistics Center developer to hold public meeting at Windsor Town Center

Published 3:00 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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The developer of the proposed Tidewater Logistics Center is looking to hear from the public about the project at a meeting to be held Monday, April 22, at the Windsor Town Center.

Developer Meridian Property Purchaser LLC had submitted an application to the county to rezone as planned industrial 154 acres of farmland and forestry on the north side of U.S. Route 460 just outside Windsor, adjacent to the Lovers Lane/Keaton Avenue neighborhood. This rezoning would allow for the proposed logistics center, which would feature five warehouses totaling 1.2 million square feet, the tenants of which have either not been determined or not been disclosed to the county as of yet.

An economic impact analysis submitted with Meridian’s rezoning application estimates that the proposed project would create more than 5,100 jobs, 1,200 of which would be permanent, and more than $141 million in sales and property tax revenue over the next nine years.

The Windsor Town Council voted unanimously March 12 to send a letter to the county Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors expressing the council’s opposition to the proposed Tidewater Logistics Center in its present form.

On March 26, the Isle of Wight County Planning Commission recommended denial of Meridian’s application by a 6-1 vote.

“The town of Windsor’s not for it; the mayor’s not for it,” Commissioner George Rawls said.

During the Windsor Town Council’s Tuesday, April 9, meeting, Town Manager William Saunders said, “It came to my attention today that the developer of the Tidewater Logistics Project has booked the Town Center for a meeting to gather public input regarding the project. That meeting has been set for Monday, April 22, at the Arrowhead (Conference) Room in the Windsor Town Center.”

He said it will be a meeting with the developer, it will be open to the public, and it will run from 6-8 p.m.

The Town Center is located at 23361 Courthouse Highway in Windsor.

Windsor Town Councilman Marlin W. Sharp wrote the letter that the council voted to send to the county.

In a March 28 interview, Sharp said that Tom Boylan, senior vice president of Meridian’s parent company, The Meridian Group, has not been willing to make accommodations for the people in the community.

“And so until and unless he’s willing to make some accommodations, we’re going to have to oppose (the project),” Sharp said.

Former Windsor Mayor Glyn T. Willis lives on Lovers Lane, and he and some of his neighbors have been vocal in expressing their concerns about the project in its present form.

In a March 28 interview, Willis said, “I’ll say I continue to have concerns about what I’ll characterize as the lack of regard, from the developer side, though, of just what the impact this (proposed project) has on the neighborhood.”

Like Sharp, he referenced an exchange between county commissioners and Boylan on March 26 about giving more feet of buffer for the residents of the Lovers Lane/Keaton Avenue neighborhood. Willis also noted that the developer indicated an unwillingness to move the project.

Sharp’s letter, as he read it during the March 12 Town Council meeting, states multiple times that the council’s issue is with the project as it is currently proposed, leaving room for acceptance of an altered proposal.

In a March 27 interview, Windsor Vice Mayor J. Randy Carr said, “We wanted the developer to revisit the way they had it landscaped and positioned. I’m still not totally against (the project), and I hope the Board of Supervisors are not either. I think growth is good if it’s done correctly and in agreeance with everybody.”

The matter of the proposed logistics center will go to the county’s Board of Supervisors for another public hearing and potential final vote on April 18. The public meeting at the Windsor Town Center follows four days later.