Colonial Downs proceeds will help fund New Kent AutoZone distribution center
Posted on October 25th, 2022
By David Macaulay
Oct 24, 2022 at 10:56 am
NEW KENT — Money raised from the Colonial Downs racetrack in New Kent and Rosie’s operations has provided an economic incentive to help AutoZone build a new $185.2 million warehouse and distribution center.
AutoZone broke ground on the new distribution center in June. The 800,000-square-foot warehouse, on Emmaus Church Road (Route 106) near Interstate 64′s Exit 211, will serve as the East Coast’s distribution operation and import facility and will create 352 jobs.
New Kent’s board of supervisors backed the appropriation of $1.15 million from the Colonial Downs Restricted Revenue Fund for an economic development incentive after a public hearing at its Oct. 11 meeting.
County Administrator Rodney Hathaway said the incentive was previously approved as part of the county’s agreement with AutoZone.
“This particular incentive was the incentive for once they closed on the property, we agreed to provide a discount on the price of the land to help the two parties come to an agreement on the price,” Hathaway said.
Nobody spoke at the public hearing. The board unanimously backed a motion to amend the FY2022-23 operating budget to use the money as an incentive grant.
The center is due to open in 2025. AutoZone is the first tenant in a 1,600-acre commercial and industrial area owned by SPF Investments. The New Kent operation is set to be the largest of the company’s 15 distribution centers across the Americas.
“[This] is a big step for AutoZone,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said back in June when he took part in the groundbreaking. “This is a big step for New Kent County. It’s a big step for Virginia.”
Colonial Downs pumps millions of dollars a year into New Kent County. The local government receives a percentage of revenues from Rosie’s in Richmond, Hampton, Vinton, and Dumfries as well as from the locations at the track.
Money from operations at Colonial Downs has helped fund a broadband initiative in New Kent and the purchase of Makemie Woods, a 274-acre site of a former summer camp and retreat in the Barnhamsville area, for a future recreational area.
David Macaulay, firstname.lastname@example.org