PPP helps Va. short line add new cold storage customer

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
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The Shenandoah Valley Railroad will serve a new public-private project to build a cold storage facility in Virginia’s Rockingham County.

Gov. Ralph Northam announced August 13 that InterChange Cold Storage, LLC plans to build a $41.6 million, 250,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art cold storage and blast freezing facility. The company, owned by Rockingham County-based third-party logistics provider InterChange Group, Inc., will provide cold-chain warehousing and value-added services to the region’s food and beverage manufacturers.

The facility will also create 88 new jobs in the northern Virginia location.

The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and the Shenandoah Valley Partnership worked with Rockingham County to secure the project for Virginia. Northam approved a $300,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist Rockingham County with the project.

The County is also receiving $650,000 from the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Economic Development Access Fund and $450,000 in funding from Rail Industrial Access Program administered by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP). Rockingham County is providing $300,000 in local matching funds to be used for making rail and road improvements at the site.

The Shenandoah Valley Railroad operates 20.2 miles of track from Staunton to Pleasant Valley. It interchanges with the Buckingham Branch Railroad and CSX on its south end, and Norfolk Southern to the north.

“This project creates vital infrastructure for the large and growing cluster of food and beverage industries in the Shenandoah Valley, which in turn produce major markets for Virginia farmers,” said Northam. “I am proud to support this effort that will bring new jobs and significant investment in the region, while also bolstering the manufacturing and agricultural sectors that are so important to our rural economies.”

Road improvements and new rail service to this site will connect the InterChange Cold Storage facility to area manufacturers, as well as the Port of Virginia.

“This investment by InterChange and the transportation improvements the Commonwealth is making to support it highlight how our multimodal transportation system serves as the platform to drive Virginia’s economy forward,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

“InterChange is pleased to increase our cold storage capacity and deepen our investment in Rockingham County, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Commonwealth,” said Devon Anders, President of InterChange Group. “Enhancing our service offerings and investing in new technology is what our customers require. The integration of advanced warehousing, renewable energy, blast freezing, repackaging, product tracking, and asset-based, multi-modal transportation provide the safe and efficient cold chain demanded by today’s consumer.”

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