Land Swap could bring movie theater to downtown

Published 5:18 pm Friday, August 25, 2023

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Suffolk’s Economic Development Authority has provided details on a recent property swap with the Virginia Department of Transportation. 

According to land transfer data provided by the Suffolk Circuit Court Clerk’s Office, the Commonwealth of Virginia transferred $800,000 to Suffolk’s Economic Development Authority Department for 1700 North Main Street. Likewise, the EDA transferred $800,000 to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the property on 108 Industrial Drive. 

Suffolk Director of Economic Development Nicholas Langford provided details on both transfers.

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“The 108 Industrial Drive property is for VDOT’s operations facility in Northgate Commerce Park, where Amazon’s ORF3 Robotics facility is located, and the 1700 North Main Street site is a purchase by the EDA to add about an acre to the EDA’s Obici site off North Main Street – the lot just south of Aldi/Dunkin Donuts in front of the Meridian Obici Apts – to make it more marketable and add some additional parking options,” Langford explained. “VDOT paid the City $500,000 for the Northgate site, Suffolk EDA paid VDOT $300,000 for the North Main Street site.”

Outside the parking spaces, Langford said this swap will enhance the 1700 N. Main St. location. 

“We are currently marketing the site to various developers to bring something different to the corridor that will diversify and enhance the area – this may include movie theaters, entertainment venues, or brewery/restaurant concepts,” he said.

Despite their close proximity, Langford said there is no connection between the VDOT Operations Facility and Amazon’s Robotics Center.

“It’s not connected to the Amazon facility in any way,” Langford detailed. “It’s a separate parcel VDOT has purchased to build a new operations facility.”