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Innovation Hub in South Boston expected to bring revenue into community
by Caroline Kealy & Kaicey Baylor
The $5 million SOVA Innovation Hub project in South Boston is expected to be completed by December of 2020. (WSET)
SOUTH BOSTON, Va. (WSET) – A $5 million project that could have a significant economic impact on South Boston is halfway done on Tuesday.
The SOVA Innovation Hub is a partnership between Microsoft and the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation.
As of Tuesday, the walls of the building are up and crews are now working inside.
“The drywall is going in, the HVAC system, the internet systems most importantly,” Tad Deriso, the President of the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation, said.
Deriso said the progress with the project is moving quickly.
Construction on the project in South Boston began in January 2020.
“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.