The LEGO Group plans to build a precision manufacturing facility on 340 acres at Meadowville Technology Park.
When the LEGO Group began looking for a location to construct its new U.S.-based plant, Chesterfield had an ideal site to offer: a 340-acre parcel with appropriate zoning and all needed infrastructure already in place, proximity to a deep, well-educated talent pool and easy access to regional and interstate transportation networks.
That wasn’t by accident. While many industrial properties in Chesterfield have been taken off the market by logistics companies in recent years, the Board of Supervisors and county administration were intentional in preserving the last large undeveloped parcel in the county-owned Meadowville Technology Park and waiting for just the right opportunity to come along.
Their patience was rewarded June 15 when LEGO announced plans to build a 1.7 million-square-foot precision manufacturing facility at Meadowville, a paradigm-shifting project that will generate $1 billion in capital investment and create more than 1,760 new jobs.
Amid shrinking inventory and surging demand for industrially zoned property, Chesterfield easily could have sold off all of Meadowville’s remaining acreage over the past decade. Had it done so, it would have been shut out of the nationwide competition for LEGO regardless of its other assets and advantages.
Now it’s adding an internationally beloved brand at the technology park adjacent to Interstate 295, which already includes the world’s most successful online retailer in Amazon and one of America’s top bottled water companies in Niagara Bottling.
In the coming years, Meadowville’s end users combined will become Chesterfield’s largest annual generator of commercial tax revenue -- helping fund schools, police and other public services while further diversifying the county’s tax base and reducing its dependence on residential property assessments.
That again highlights the importance of Chesterfield having a project-ready site available for future economic development opportunities. Time equals money and once companies decide to expand or relocate, they want a site where they can move forward quickly. Waiting for power, water and sewer connections or roads is not an option.
With LEGO under contract to purchase the 340-acre Meadowville property, less than 100 developable acres remain in the technology park -- only about 30 of which are contiguous.
The only other undeveloped, industrially zoned parcel 100 acres or larger in Chesterfield, with required infrastructure, is located in the James River Industrial Park off Route 1. It is privately owned and thus can be sold and developed at any time.
Meadowville Technology Park once was conceived as a multigenerational endeavor to bring investment and jobs to Chesterfield. It has accomplished that objective. When the “next” LEGO presents itself, Chesterfield must be ready.