Still looking for help with CenterPoint

Published 8:55 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The proposed 900-acre “integrated logistics center” to be built on Route 58 in Suffolk is estimated to generate 7,000 jobs for this area. But it appears the CenterPoint Properties project is growing heavier and heavier on the shoulders of Suffolk taxpayers.

In releasing his “extensive” transportation plan Tuesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell laid out plans to expand highways, launch a third-party audit of the state’s transportation department and develop two new toll roads between Virginia and North Carolina.

But his plan failed to mention the state’s involvement — or in this case lack of involvement — in moving this project further down the road.

Suffolk leaders have set aside money for their required portions of the project and CenterPoint plans to invest $325 million to construct the massive facility, but where is Virginia and where are the candidates?

If this proposed project is so important to not only job development but to alleviate pressure on the Port of Virginia, then why has there not been more talk on just how it will go from great plan to great reality.

In the company’s announcement, the project was praised for potentially providing five million square feet of distribution and warehouse space to a port system state officials says need 61-million square feet for current and future “transportation-related commerce.”

If that is truly the case, then we again ask where is the state of Virginia?

This is a project that is not only crucial to job creation in our area but is crucial to breathing further life into this region’s economy. State help with the transportation problems it could create should happen and should happen soon.

And we should have an idea much sooner rather than later than where this project fits into the plans of our future state leaders.