As 2015 comes to a close, here’s a look back at the area’s top business stories of the past year.
Town officials in Mount Jackson voted unanimously in August to approve the annexation of 576 acres of land owned by town resident Robert Whitehurst. The annexation, which was proposed by Whitehurst in February and received mixed reactions from residents, is part of an effort to create a potential industrial “mega site” on 712 acres in the town’s corporate limits.
The former Avtex Fibers site on Kendrick Lane in Front Royal will soon house a new facility with the arrival of the information technology firm ITFederal LLC. Construction for the 67,000-square-foot office complex, which began on a 30-acre plot on the Superfund site in October, is expected to be completed in 36 months. ITFederal’s arrival is expected to create 600 high-paying jobs.
Mount Jackson saw two prominent businesses announce expansions in 2015, as Route 11 Chips and Andros Foods North America each began broadening their reach.
Route 11 Chips began work on a $1.1 million project to upgrade its facility – its first since moving to Mount Jackson in 2007 – in August with the creation of a second production line and an expanded warehouse. Once complete, the expansion is expected to create 12 new jobs.
Andros, which specializes in apple-based products, announced its own expansion plans in April and cut the ribbon on the three-year, $73 million process in October. The expansion is expected to create 160 new jobs and 12.7 million pounds of apple-based products.
Also in October, Trex Company announced plans to expand its operations in Winchester and Frederick County, creating up to 89 new jobs.
In August, Shenandoah Telecommunications Inc. reached a deal to purchase Waynesboro-based nTelos Inc.
New businesses, from the mom-and-pop stores to corporate giants, popped up all along the Shenandoah Valley in 2015.
DICK’S Sporting Goods opened its doors to customers in June at 1675 S. Pleasant Valley Road in Winchester, the former site of the city’s Kmart store that closed in 2014 after 26 years at that location.
In August, Aldi, the German-based grocery chain, closed on a deal to purchase an 18,000-square-foot unit in Front Royal for $1.45 million. The store, which will be located in the Riverton Shopping Center off of U.S. 522, is expected to open in the first quarter of 2016.
New Market finally saw Family Dollar open a store on Main Street in late October after an application was submitted in 2013. Ground also was broken recently in Toms Brook for the town’s first Dollar General location.
Most recently, the popular sports bar Greene Turtle opened a new location in Kernstown Commons next to the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
While new businesses were breaking ground or opening their doors, some were celebrating their longstanding histories throughout the region.
The town of Woodstock is home to two such businesses. Woodstock Garage, a fixture of car sales and auto repair for nearly a century, celebrated its 90th anniversary in July, while less than a mile south on Main Street, Beidler’s Furniture Store turned 70 years old in August.
In Winchester, AES Limousine Service celebrated 30 years of service and HP Hood, a Massachusetts-based dairy company, saw its Winchester plant turn 15 years old in September.
Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or email@example.com