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Leadership has attracted development

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to express the immense pride I have in the recent economic development accomplishments that have taken place in my community, the city of Suffolk.

In a tentative and tremendously competitive global business environment, Suffolk welcomed over $103 million in commercial investment from new and existing businesses, creating 980 new jobs, in calendar year 2011.

As the Chairman of the Suffolk Economic Development Authority, I have seen the intricacies and sensitivities of the decision-making process that businesses both large and small must tackle when dealing with important investments and personnel decisions.

With this knowledge, I am more confident than ever that the environment that the Suffolk City Council and the Suffolk EDA support and sustain will provide for a robust and desirable economy in Suffolk.

Just looking at the first half of 2012, my confidence has been shared by Monument Construction, which spent $3 million renovating a vacant retail and office building for two new store fronts and 26 new apartments in downtown Suffolk that are almost completely leased after only a month; Massimo Zanetti’s $5 million investment in new coffee-roasting equipment and new warehouse space; Dana Corp.’s new long-term lease deal that led to the construction of a new 126,000-square-foot industrial building by Liberty Property Trust; TowneBank’s Towne University building that houses the financial powerhouse’s administrative and training campus; and most recently the confirmation that the U.S. Navy’s Cyber Command and other divisions will move 993 jobs to Suffolk’s former U.S. Joint Forces Command campus, which will bring the total employment at the former USJFCOM campus to 2,200 jobs. That is the same number of jobs that existed at that location before the disestablishment announcement just two years ago.

It is easy and appropriate to sum up this letter with the City tag line, “It’s a good time to be in Suffolk.” What is even more fitting is that the leadership from the Suffolk City Council and the administration is ensuring this momentum to recruit, retain and attract business development will continue.

J. Harold Faulk
Chairman
Suffolk Economic Development Authority