S23 Holdings - Groundbreaking
S23 Holdings Breaks Ground on Future Headquarters and Training Facility
November 2, 2022

2022 Industrial Development & Business Expansions

Industrial Development & Business Expansions

Our EDA team wields extensive knowledge to help navigate business needs and to help businesses plant themselves in Newport News and grow here. Our inclusive approach creates a seamless development experience and unparalleled success.

This has been a big year for new businesses setting up shop in our City. From homegrown to global, businesses of all shapes and sizes flocked to Newport News with our support, guidance and welcoming spirit.

Aldora Glass, a premiere fabricator of architectural glass and aluminum system building products, acquired a new 72,000-square-foot fabrication facility. The new facility will be the fabricator’s seventh location and will create nearly 75 jobs for our City. The full-service glass fabrication and distribution facility will serve a 150-mile geographical radius to include Richmond, Baltimore, Washington DC, Norfolk, Raleigh-Durham, Roanoke and many points in between. The company qualifies for a local Expansion/Relocation Cost Reduction (ERCR) incentive. Aldora expects to be fully operational by January 2023.

Another boost to Newport News job opportunities comes with the arrival of Certified Origins, an Italian-based, global company that provides fresh and authentic extra virgin olive oil. They are investing $25 million to establish their first US production facility here. Certified Origins will import high-quality olive oils through the Port of Virginia to offer craft blends and tailored packaging solutions for local and global markets. They own the Bellucci Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil brand and multiple successful private label programs. Virginia successfully competed with Maryland for the project, which will create 30 new jobs. The company qualifies for a local ERCR incentive.

The Certified Origins project is a great example of collaboration. The City of Newport News worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, The Port of Virginia and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project for the State. Governor Youngkin approved a $125,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund. Certified Origins is eligible to receive state and local benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, and funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.

Another example of collaboration? Our region worked together to beat South Carolina for the Mercana Furniture and Decor project. Newport News will be the home of Mercana’s $8.5 million warehouse and distribution facility, which brings 26 new jobs along with it. The company is moving into a 124,000-square-foot facility formerly owned by the Newport News Industrial Development Authority and occupied by Canon Virginia.

Business Expansion Graphics

The City worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Alliance, and The Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia and will support Mercana’s job creation through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). We will help Mercana navigate the state and local benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program.

“Located near all major port terminals, railroads and highways, Newport News is extremely favorable for inbound and outbound shipping,” said Michael Saby, Mercana Chief Operations Officer. “This investment will improve the agility of our supply chain and allow us to get products to our customers quicker than ever before. It’s a great privilege for us to be welcomed into the Newport News community and we are excited to be playing a part in cultivating sustainable business in the area.”

Speaking of accessibility, we are excited to welcome Avelo Airlines to our City’s airport (PHF)! We pride ourselves on being a great hub for business, conveniently located near major ports, railways and airports. The addition of Avelo Airlines opens residents and businesses up to even more opportunities. The airline offers introductory one-way fares to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale starting at $29. Operating a fleet of Boeing Next-Generation 737s, Avelo serves 27 popular destinations across the U.S., including its three bases in Los Angeles, New Haven and Orlando.

But you don’t have to be global to be a great growth story — the Southeast Community is home to a new pharmacy after being without one for several years. Pharmacist and founder, James Mitchell, grew up on the Peninsula and came out of retirement to open Southeast Community Pharmacy, an apothecary-type pharmacy that focuses only on medicine and medical-related products. In June 2022, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to celebrate its opening.

Another homegrown groundbreaking happened for C. C. Carter Funeral Home. The new structure, representing a $2.7 million investment, will provide 10,000 square feet of space with seating for 300 and corresponding parking. In addition to the funeral home, plans for a repast facility are anticipated for future development.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing one of your local companies make it big. Representatives from our own Ferguson rang the opening bell as their primary listing hit the New York Stock Exchange. Geoff Drabble, Ferguson Chairman, said: “With 100% of our operations today in North America, we now have the right listing structure for Ferguson as it continues to grow.” Kevin Murphy, Ferguson CEO, added, “This growth is driven by the strength of our associates, the scale of our supply chain and our digital capabilities — as well as our strong balance sheet that allows us to invest in our business, make acquisitions and return capital to shareholders. Having a primary listing location aligned with our growth opportunities should enable us to create significant value for the foreseeable future.”

Another established business is investing in its future here. High Liner Foods is modernizing its facility with new equipment and product lines. The company, which has been here for more than two decades, is a leading North American processor of value-added frozen seafood and is committed to a substantial reinvestment in its Oakland Industrial Park operations. Governor Youngkin approved a $300,000 grant from the Virginia Investment Performance Grant, a performance-based incentive that encourages continued capital investment by existing Virginia companies. The EDA worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Hampton Roads Alliance to secure the project, which qualifies for a local ERCR incentive.

Business Expansion Statistics 2022

From seafood to dairy — Maola is expanding its operations locally. It recently leased a 53,255 square-foot industrial building in Copeland Industrial Park, next to its existing facility. Maola plans to use its newly-leased building to install additional refrigeration to support the distribution of its milk and dairy products.

And over in Oakland Industrial Park, Mühlbauer is investing $9 million to upgrade its facility, increase capacity and add new production equipment to meet increased customer demand from the semiconductor industry, and creating 32 new jobs. Mühlbauer, an automation solutions manufacturer and the U.S. subsidiary of Germany-based Mühlbauer Group, has been here for over 25 years, serving as a base for all Mühlbauer activities in North America.

The City of Newport News worked with the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Hampton Roads Alliance and The Port of Virginia to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Youngkin approved a $227,700 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist the City of Newport News. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, as well as a local ERCR incentive. Support for Mühlbauer’s job creation will be provided through the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program.

And finally, S23 Holdings, LLC, a marine repair and construction company, broke ground on its corporate headquarters and training facility in Southeast Newport News. City officials, businesses and community stakeholders gathered for the event. After the groundbreaking, guests were shuttled to the company’s waterfront facility to get a glimpse of the USS Cole, now docked for repairs. In addition to its approximately $64.4 million investment, S23 and its affiliates will bring new business from untapped contract sources to the region’s ship repair industry and plan to create over 300 new jobs, with a focus on hiring from within the community. The company qualifies for a local ERCR incentive.

Also with a laser focus on growth, figuratively and literally, Newport News-based Dilon Technologies continues to innovate, acquire and move into the next generation of breast cancer treatment and diagnosis. This is an example of high-tech innovation powering a very successful small business in our City.