New road will lead to big business

Published 10:17 pm Friday, May 19, 2017

Construction of a multi-million dollar economic development project in Suffolk will begin as soon as a new road is ready for construction crews.

Enterprise Drive is under construction at the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Suffolk. The new road will connect Centerpoint Drive to the site of the first Peet’s Coffee roastery on the East Coast.

Suffolk Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes said the new road should allow construction crews to begin work on the roastery mid-summer, when the base layer of stone is prepared and ready but before the road is 100 percent finished.

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“They won’t have to wait until the road is complete,” Hughes said.

California-based Peet’s Coffee announced in December its plans to invest $58 million dollars in the new roastery. The 175,000-square-foot roastery is expected to create 135 new jobs, with an average annual salary in the $50,000 range.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe praised the project in December as further diversification of Virginia’s economy, and a reinforcement of Suffolk’s “Caffeine Capital” claim.

“Suffolk is now the caffeine capital of the United States of America,” McAuliffe said. “We are going to grow together.”

J.M. Smucker, Massimo Zanetti Beverage and Lipton already process coffee and tea in Suffolk, and companies like Continental Terminals, Pacorini, Vitex Packaging Group and Crown Cork and Seal are involved in business such as importing and packaging.

“It will continue to sell and push Suffolk as a great place to do advanced manufacturing, and food and beverage processing,” Hughes said.