“You’re seeing progress,” Deriso said. “You’re seeing a building being built, you’re seeing activity and that really gets folks here excited because you have one of the largest technology companies on the planet making an investment right here in South Boston.”
The SOVA Innovation Hub is the newest building in downtown South Boston in the last 40 years. The design team said that they wanted a modern look for the building that still incorporates the style of old tobacco factories.
Deriso said his team is using locally sourced brick and steel and that all of the companies working on the building are from Southside Virginia.
Tom Raab, South Boston’s Town Manager, said that it’s important that money is staying within the local community.
“They say a dollar spent locally turns into about 10 times,” Raab said. “So, if that’s the case we have a $5 million project. That’s a lot of money.”
The site will provide a vehicle charging station, several office spaces and high-speed internet.
The parking lot will also provide the community with free WiFi.
Over the next few years, they anticipate being able to add 10 to 15 new jobs.
“I think you’ll see the bigger city people start to say, ‘well, look, they got high-speed internet down there,” Raab said. “They’ve got Mid-Atlantic Broadband and Microsoft. Let’s look at what’s going on down there.”
Deriso said that the building will be ready to host entrepreneurs by December.
MBC is committed to providing economic development leadership to Southern Virginia by operating nearly 2,000 miles of open-access fiber optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport, dark fiber and colocation services. With presence in major internet peering exchange points, MBC reduces the cost of Internet access for wholesale customers and reduces the time and cost to reach customers in rural Virginia markets. MBC’s network supports job creation as a critical element in the recruitment of major commercial investments.