Editorial: Businesses will continue to seek to build along Interstate 64 in New Kent
As New Kent County continues to grow, businesses are looking at the opportunities to fine prime real estate in the locality in order to become profitable. Sometimes, the business attempts to locate to New Kent is met with opposition.
When Wilco-Hess originally decided to build a gas station adjacent to the Pilot on Route 106 (Emmaus Church Road) near Interstate 64, people began to question the decision. When Love’s decided that a location across from Pilot was ideal for them, social media became a hotbed of a heated debate.
As news releases appeared on the Chronicle’s Facebook page about the proposals, it didn’t take long for several comments about the situation to appear. Most of the comments claimed that New Kent was becoming the home of truck stops and mini-storage facilities. These comments may have led to people speaking out against the construction of the aforementioned buildings, but the question remains if that is the real reasoning about the opposition.
Even though I understand that New Kent County wants to maintain the aesthetics of the county, the fact remains that businesses seek to build along the Interstate 64 corridor. County supervisors and the planning commission have a dubious job to balance those aesthetics with a business’ ability to bring revenue to the county.
Using Love’s Travel Plaza, it is projected to bring anywhere from $275,000-$290,000 per year in revenue to New Kent. That is roughly the equivalent to a penny on a taxpayer in New Kent County. Being honest, that penny makes a lot of difference.
It’s difficult for some people to accept changes going along the Interstate 64 corridor. But when they do happen, are people going to continue to talk about it? Since the Love Travel Plaza opened up, I have yet to encounter any backed up traffic on Emmaus Church Road. That was one of the desires/promises the group had when it opened up, and so far, so good (fingers crossed).
Businesses are going to have to take chances in New Kent and citizens have the right to voice either favoring or opposing them. Changes are sweeping rapidly through New Kent and with the growth of the county, supervisors are working on how to provide the necessary facilities (such as a new elementary school) to function as well as keep businesses in the county.
It’s a give and take situation right now and so far, it’s working out positively. There are going to be sacrifices on all parties involved in the construction of a business. We all want a different variety of businesses in the county, but if a certain type is bringing in a substantial amount of money, it may be hard to turn it away.
I’m not saying I am in favor or opposition of particular businesses. I am simply saying that logistics and revenue do factor in decision making and that companies will continue to target those four interchanges along Interstate 64 in New Kent.