Two new 100,000-square-foot buildings could be coming to Cane Creek Centre just outside Danville.
The Danville-Pittsylvania Regional Industrial Facility Authority board voted 3-0 to approve a 10-year lease agreement with RealtyLink-Tennessee, LLC for a new lot to be created in the industrial park along U.S. 58 East in Pittsylvania County for a building of at least 100,000 square feet.
RIFA board members also approved a second resolution for a one-year option to enter into a 10-year lease with RealtyLink for a second new lot in the park to build another shell building containing at least 100,000 square feet.
The second resolution gives RealtyLink a year to decide whether to enter into that lease agreement.
Danville and Pittsylvania County officials hope potential tenants will move into the buildings, bringing jobs and investment to the region, County Economic Development Director Matt Rowe said.
Danville and Pittsylvania County — through the quasi-government group RIFA — jointly own Cane Creek Centre.
RealtyLink is a development firm based in Greenville, South Carolina, that constructs speculative buildings for industrial, commercial and residential purposes, and provides financing.
Under both agreements, construction would begin within 60 days and be completed within a year after the leases go into effect. RealtyLink would pay $5,000 in rent for the 10-year period.
“It behooves them to get a tenant there as soon as possible so they can recoup their investment,” RIFA attorney Michael Guanzon said during the board meeting at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.
Also under each agreement, RealtyLink would have the right to buy the building for $100,000 if RIFA enters into a local performance agreement with an entity to operate a facility in one of the structures.
However, RealtyLink would pay $30,000 per acre for the property if a tenant locates in a building without a performance agreement with RIFA.
A tenant could buy the building or lease it from RealtyLink.
“When there’s a tenant that goes into the building, RealtyLink buys the property from us to make that transaction occur,” Rowe said. “It’s a model that’s never been done in this region.”
Leasing the property enables RIFA to have control of it, Rowe said.
“We want to make sure we maintain control of the property and the best way is to be the property owner,” he said. “It [the lease] allows us to dictate the timing of when things get done.”
Rowe said officials have been talking to more than 10 prospects and are interested in attracting advanced manufacturing to the site.
If construction doesn’t begin after 60 days under the agreements, RIFA terminates the lease at no cost to the taxpayer, Rowe said.
The two lots total about 30 acres, with the first lot at about 13 acres.
Both lots are visible from U.S. 58, with Cane Creek Centre located on the north side of South Boston Road.
As for the first site RIFA voted on, the pre-engineered building — similar to a Lego set — is being shipped to that location, Rowe said.
Construction is expected to begin Aug. 1, with the facility built by the end of January, Rowe said.
“We could potentially have a tenant in the first building before it’s completed,” he said.
The second building should be built by the middle of 2020.
If RealtyLink does nothing with the building after the 10 years are up, the structure merges with the land and becomes RIFA property, Guanzon said.
The firm also has expressed interest in properties in the River District, Rowe said.
Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.