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Welcome to Welspun

The good news in Suffolk’s warehousing and distribution sector just keeps on coming.

City officials announced this week that Welspun USA Inc., a company that manufactures linens and towels for hospitality and retail clients across the country, will occupy a new space in a spec building that was completed recently at the Virginia Regional Commerce Park.

The announcement was especially good news for Panattoni Development, which announced in July 2016 that it would construct the first speculative industrial investment building in Hampton Roads since 2007. That announcement was confirmation that the real estate crash was well and truly just an ugly memory for Hampton Roads. The announcement that one client will fill two-thirds of the 300,000 square-foot space in that building is confirmation that Panattoni had good timing with its decision to get back into the speculative real estate market.

Suffolk continues to reap rewards for the decisions city officials have made to encourage growth of the warehousing and distribution market. Its industrial parks are filling up, their parking areas filled with trucks, and more and more people from the city are finding employment in the sector.

Welspun will hire 16 people and invest more than $1 million into equipment, city officials stated this week. A portion of that investment will be offset by economic development grants of up to $175,000, but the city’s return on that investment — through machinery and tools taxes and increased employment opportunity — is likely to be a quick one.

Officials have been working to try to convince Welspun to locate in Suffolk since May. If all goes well, it seems likely that — by spring, if not earlier — the bath towels and decorative bedding you see at Walmart, Kohl’s or Bed Bath & Beyond will have passed through Suffolk on the way between the manufacturer and the retailer.

That’s great news.