Council to review proposals

Published 9:51 pm Monday, November 18, 2019

City Council will be taking a look at a pair of economic development proposals during a closed portion of its work session Wednesday.

One of those, dubbed Project Patriot, has identified a site in Suffolk for a fulfillment center that would employ about 1,000 workers, according to the July Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance report.

Representatives of Project Patriot, according to the report, visited Hampton Roads on July 22, with company representatives having identified a site in Suffolk for it. At that time, there was a meeting with representatives from the company, the Port of Virginia, city of Suffolk, the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the alliance taking part, according to the alliance report.

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Hampton Roads is among several areas in different states being considered for the project, according to the alliance, with a decision expected sometime in December.

In July, in response to a public notice with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that outlined a proposal from Atlanta-based Seefried Development Services to construct an 820,000 square foot Amazon fulfillment center at 2020 Northgate Commerce Parkway in Northgate Commerce Park, Suffolk Economic Development Director Kevin Hughes did not comment specifically on that proposal, but he noted that Northgate is zoned M2 – heavy industrial – “and a distribution or fulfillment center use would be permitted by right.”

A use of that type, Hughes said, would require site plan and building plan permit approval.

Seefried Development Services has built several Amazon fulfillment centers around the United States, including two in Richmond.

The EDA board held a closed meeting last week in which Project Sweet Pea was on its agenda. Project Sweet Pea is related to food and beverage processing, and according to an October 2019 activity report from the alliance, representatives made a prospect visit to the region.

In other work session items, council will hear from the city’s independent auditors on its comprehensive annual financial report during a work session Wednesday.

A representative from Cherry Bekaert LLP, the city’s independent auditors, will present the report for fiscal year 2019, which ended June 30.

During the work session, the council will also be briefed by the city’s legislative consultant on items to be included in the proposed 2020 city of Suffolk legislative agenda package, and it will receive an update on activity at the Suffolk Executive Airport and city economic development activity.

The council’s work session will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, and its regular meeting will start at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The complete agenda can be found at