The next step for CenterPoint

Published 11:05 pm Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Now that they have the rezoning approval they have been seeking, CenterPoint’s intermodal center is “full speed ahead.”

The company will soon start putting in infrastructure for the 13 proposed buildings, parking lots, and rail yard needed for the center, said Neil Doyle, executive vice president for infrastructure and transportation development at CenterPoint Properties.

“We are ready to go,” Doyle said. “We’d like to be under construction by May.”

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The first step in constructing the project is to do design work, which will commence immediately, Doyle said. Detailed schematic plans will be in the works, followed by stormwater drainage system construction, roadway improvements and utility extensions. After the infrastructure improvements are done, Phase 1 of the project will start to rise from the ground, Doyle said. Full construction is anticipated by 2015, barring any setbacks.

“This will benefit a lot of people in a lot of different ways at not a lot of cost,” Doyle said, referencing the jobs and real estate tax revenue it will create.

The cost of Holland Road improvements, however, was estimated by the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission to be about $94 million. CenterPoint has offered only about $3.5 million of that cost, leaving the city to attempt to make up the difference through other funding sources, which could include borrowing money or trying to get funding from the state or federal levels.

Having the rezoning approval from city council makes it much easier to find customers for the project, Doyle said. CenterPoint will begin marketing the park on a national level immediately.

The company still must go through the regular building permit process when it constructs new buildings and projects.