2018 was fruitful for Henrico. We extend our thanks to the local businesses and community partners that add to the excellence of our community. The combined efforts of the companies and residents that call Henrico home led to another successful year – and an even more promising future. Here, we look back on a few achievements of note.
Beefing Up the Economy
In March 2018, Henrico County opened Glover Park, a state-of-the-art tournament complex, positioning Henrico as an ideal location for athletes and visitors alike.
The 88-acre park has hosted 32 tournaments since its opening, but the County isn’t stopping there. A cricket field is in the works for Deep Run Park. Meanwhile, the Freeman, Hermitage, and Varina High School football fields will all undergo grass-to-turf conversions, thanks to overwhelming community approval of a 2016 bond referendum that allocated $12.5 million to the fields’ rehabilitation.
A Strong Pulse
In June, the GRTC Pulse Bus Rapid Transit System began service. The high-capacity bus system extends 7.6 miles through bustling downtown Richmond to vibrant Willow Lawn in Henrico. In September, thanks to $1.2 million in additional funding from the County, Henrico GRTC service was amplified further, adding new stops in Short Pump, the Shops at White Oak Village, and Richmond International Airport. The additions put 6,000 Henrico businesses within walking distance of a GRTC stop.
GRTC Pulse has exceeded expectations, quickly averaging 6,000 riders a day. Henrico boasts the highest activity, with 2,000 daily passengers frequenting the Willow Lawn stop alone.
The Global Picture
In September, Facebook announced it will invest an additional $750 million in its new data center complex at Henrico’s White Oak Technology Park, bringing its total investment to $1.75 billion. The expansion will produce hundreds of construction jobs, and at its completion, Facebook will employ 200 full-time employees.
What makes Henrico such a great fit for data centers and tech companies that value a global reach? Infrastructure and location. Not only does White Oak Technology Park offer robust electric power, water, and sewer utilities; it also offers high-speed fiber connections to the new MAREA and BRUSA subsea cable system. These high-speed connections carry internet data between Western Europe and Virginia, and Brazil and Virginia, respectively.
Other planned high-speed submarine cables include connections between Virginia and France and Virginia and South Africa. With an ideal location between the subsea cable landings and Ashburn data center alley, it’s easy to see why companies are choosing Henrico.
Henrico EDA Volunteers Are All Business
Who could forget the dedicated efforts of our Henrico EDA Business First volunteers? Since the mid-1980s, the team has been meeting with local companies to determine obstacles to business success and reporting their findings to the Henrico EDA. Using these learnings, EDA staff figures out ways to boost ROI for these local companies. In fact, thanks to a Business First meeting with UDig, the Henrico EDA was able to help secure a suitable headquarters for the quickly expanding IT staffing and recruitment company, which led to a $1.6 million investment in Henrico County.
Of course, it’s impossible to name every success the county has achieved over the past year. But take a moment to see for yourself. You’ll discover that Henrico – home to over 25,000 companies and more than 327,000 residents – is a great place to come for success and stay for life. And if you thought 2018 was a fantastic year of achievement, you haven’t seen anything yet.