Treplar will invest $50 million into the state and is opening a facility in Martinsburg. Justice said the facility will be up in running in the next couple of months.
“Treplar is currently testing a new generation of food packing material that is 100% home compostable,” the Republican governor said.
The company mission is to “help food businesses seamlessly transition away from banned single-use plastic to a more sustainable product that benefits our industry — and the planet,” according to its website.
Treplar makes food retailer trays, plates and more using a technology known as “XPET,” a sustainable solution to hard-to-recycle polystyrene trays.
“Our new project is a catalyst for change,” said Murat Ogulcan, president of Treplar, who thanked the governor for his support. “We found a new home in West Virginia.”
The governor’s office said the company did not receive any incentives to launch in West Virginia.
The summit has so far been packed with economic announcements for the state, including a $800 million restart for the Pleasants Power Plant in St. Marys and a program that looks to keep Marshall and West Virginia University graduates in the state.
The event, which has been attended by state leaders and business owners, wraps up Friday.
Many of the announcements have centered on reversing the state’s population decline — the fastest in the country — by providing jobs and incentives to remain in state.
“What’s going on in this state, it’s absolutely a movement toward jobs and opportunity for our kids,” said Justice, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in the 2024 election.
Following the announcement, Justice said he was leaving the resort to survey flood damage in the state. The governor declared a state of emergency in five West Virginia counties — Kanawha, Braxton, Calhoun, Clay and Roane counties — because of heavy rain and flooding.
Comments Off on Martinsburg, WV – BLACK DIAMOND REALTY OPENS EASTERN PANHANDLE OFFICE
When: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Where: 1209 N. Queen Street, Martinsburg, WV
About: Black Diamond Realty is pleased to announce the opening and ribbon cutting for its Eastern Panhandle office at 1209 N Queen Street, Martinsburg, WV. Our team’s expertise serves all real estate sectors across West Virginia and Southwestern PA. The Eastern Panhandle office is spearheaded by David Lorenze (Principal), Kim Licciardi (Sr. Associate), Mark J. Nesselroad (Broker), and Andrea Icenhower (Graphic Designer/Office Manager). The firm is actively recruiting new commercial associates to join the Eastern Panhandle expansion.
Since purchasing the property in September 2022, this office has been transformed for Black Diamond’s use, while the adjacent building was successfully leased by our brokerage and is under renovation for a martial arts studio. You are invited to join the ribbon cutting, visit our office, enjoy light refreshments, and talk with some of our real estate experts.
Andrea Icenhower states, “We are excited to open our doors, welcome guests, and contribute to the community and economic growth of the Eastern Panhandle.”
For more information, call 304-901-7788 or visit www.blackdiamondrealty.net.
Comments Off on Exceptional Development Opportunity within the Eastern Panhandle of WV
Black Diamond Realty is pleased to present this exceptional development opportunity within the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. This property offers 54 (+/-) acres of undeveloped flat land and is conveniently located to both I-81 and U.S. Highway 11. The subject property is highly visible from I-81 and is situated less than 0.3 mile away from Exit 5. The undeveloped land is in a great location. It is ideal for commercial users looking for a development opportunity while being surrounded by a plethora of residential communities. Within this article you will learn more information about the Eastern Panhandle, specifically Berkeley County, the top employers in the area and demographics for the subject property. Please also invest a few minutes to review Black Diamond Realty’s detailed marketing flyer and video.
Since moving into the Eastern Panhandle, our graphic designer / office manager for the Martinsburg office, Andrea Icenhower, has attended several events for both the Berkeley Co. and Jefferson Co. She has had the opportunity to tour spaces like the Macy’s fulfillment center, Quad Graphics Facility, the Clorox Campus, the Rockwool Facility and so much more. Andrea was also able to attend the Annual Eastern Panhandle Economic Outlook Luncheon led by John Deskins and his team to learn more about the economic growth in the Eastern Panhandle. The research in this article is supported by those educational meetings and tours.
Located at the gateway to the Shenandoah Valley in the heart of the Eastern Panhandle, Berkeley County is known for its unique history, beautiful scenery, robust industry, and more. Major population centers and business markets within a five-hundred-mile radius of Berkeley County include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Richmond, Virginia, and New York City, New York. All these major markets are readily accessible from this County via Interstate 81. Berkeley County’s geographic location makes it unique for business and leisure while enriching quality of life with its “small town” character and sense of community. Berkeley County has a total population of 126,534 and a median household income of $65,826. Total number of businesses is 2,635.
Berkeley County is regarded as the Eastern Panhandle’s economic center. In addition, Berkeley County has established itself as the leading county in the state in terms of absolute job growth. Over the past decade, employment has increased by 8,300. Most of the county’s job growth can be linked to major new openings such as the Macy’s fulfillment center and Procter & Gamble. In the last year, the employment rate in West Virginia has increased by 3.8%, giving businesses 26,000 new employees. With an unemployment rate of 2.7%, Berkeley County’s workforce continues to stay well above the national and state averages, providing businesses an excellent opportunity to acquire and retain qualified talent. Even more skilled workers will be able to serve businesses across the county as more people locate to Berkeley County.
The top 10 Employers in Berkeley County
The top 10 Employers in Berkeley County include; Berkeley County Board of Education, Macy’s, United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Quad Graphics, Procter & Gamble, Walmart, Or-gill, Berkeley County Commission, FedEx, Aker Solutions. Procter & Gamble’s manufacturing plant added nearly 1,400 jobs and fostered the co-location of several hundred new jobs in packaging, logistics and other supporting businesses at the Tabler Station campus. More recently, the region received an additional boost in payrolls following the mid-2021 and fall-2022 openings of Rockwool and Clorox manufacturing facilities in Jefferson and Berkeley counties, respectively. Procter & Gamble’s production facility has represented a major transformative shift in the Eastern Panhandle’s industrial base. The $500 million facility along the 1-81 corridor in Berkeley County produces a range of consumer cleaning and personal products, including Swiffer, Tide, and various soaps and deodorants. Overall, the facility now employs more than 1,600 workers and has spawned the addition of several hundred jobs at packaging and logistics operations in the area.
The infographics below contain data provided by Esri, Esri and Bureau of Labor Statistics Esri and Data Axle. The vintage of the data is 2022, 2027. Spending facts are average annual dollar per household. The statistics provided, which includes a 3-5-10 mile radius, are based upon our 54 (+/-) acres at the Inwood exit.
The Eastern Panhandle has consistently ranked as West Virginia’s fastest-growing region for the past two decades. Between 2001 and 2021, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties combined to add nearly 64,000 residents. It is expected for employment to grow at an average annual rate of between 0.7 to 0.8 percent per year in the EPH through 2027.
The Eastern Panhandle has been and projects to remain an economic bright spot for West Virginia. West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle is a premier location for a new business or a development project. Our Inwood offering has public infrastructure (new roundabouts), all public utilities, no zoning restrictions, easy accessibility, and is close to many amenities.
Don’t miss this prime piece of commercial real estate!
Call our Eastern Panhandle office today at 304.901.7788.
CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and Commercial Metals Company (CMC) today announced that Berkeley County will be the home of the company’s fourth micro mill. The facility, projected to cost approximately $450 million, will produce rebar and is projected to begin operations in late 2025.
“I am thrilled to welcome Commercial Metals Company to West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re honored that CMC selected our great state as the home for this state-of-the-art facility, set to be one of the most environmentally friendly steelmaking operations in the world. The Mountain State has a proud history in the steel industry and this investment is yet another example of West Virginia welcoming this industry into our state.”
CMC turns scrap into new, sustainable steel products by recycling more than 19 billion pounds of metal each year. CMC steel is featured in our nation’s highways, bridges and industrial structures. The new facility in the Eastern Panhandle is expected to have the capacity to produce 500,000 tons of straight-length rebar and a premium spooled rebar. Spooled rebar boasts less waste, increased productivity and improved safety.
“We would like to thank Governor Jim Justice, the entire West Virginia economic development team, and Berkeley County staff for the support provided during CMC’s site selection process and for the welcome given to this important project,” Barbara R. Smith, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of CMC said. “We look forward to becoming a vital part of the Berkeley County community and growing our presence in the Mountain State.”
CMC provides customers with the lowest emissions steel in the market as every CMC mill uses electric energy and 100% recycled scrap to produce products. Building on its foundation as a metals recycling company, CMC created the world’s first successfully operating micro mill – a plant with a smaller footprint that uses energy more efficiently than traditional mills.
“CMC will be a tremendous asset to West Virginia and we are thrilled to welcome them to the Mountain State,” West Virginia Secretary of Economic Development Mitch Carmichael said. “There’s no doubt that West Virginia is the best place for this micro mill.”
Commercial Metals Company and its subsidiaries manufacture, recycle and fabricate steel and metal products and provide related materials and services through a network of facilities that includes seven electric arc furnace (“EAF”) mini mills, two EAF micro mills, one rerolling mill, steel fabrication and processing plants, construction-related product warehouses, and metal recycling facilities in the United States and Poland. Through its Tensar division, CMC is a leading global provider of innovative ground and soil stabilization solutions selling into more than 80 national markets through two major product lines: Tensar® geogrids and Geopier® foundation systems.
Written by: Jordan Damron, email@example.com; CJ Harvey, firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments Off on Positive Economic Growth for the Future of the Mountain State
In the past 18-24 months, several positive news stories touting new and expanding business facilities and job creation have been announced within Black Diamond Realty’s West Virginia footprint. This article recaps some of these notable announcements that will build positive economic growth for the future of the Mountain State.
Most recently, Clorox revealed the opening of cat litter manufacturing plant in the Eastern Panhandle of WV. The 97,000 square foot plant is open in Martinsburg WV and will produce the company’s Fresh Step and Scoop Away products. This plant will begin with more than 100 workers, including over 80 from West Virginia. Clorox plans to be in full production by early 2023. The company has also built a 450,000-square-foot warehouse down the road from the plant.
In August, it was announced that the West Virginia AeroTech Park will house North Central West Virginia Airport’s new terminal building, an expanded taxiway, an enlarged parking lot and will provide ample build-ready land for the continued growth and development of the region’s aerospace industry. The total economic impact of construction expenditures for the airport’s terminal expansion project is estimated to be $88 million, of which more than $55 million will be spent directly, and another $33 will be generated in secondary industries, according to analysis from the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The terminal expansion project is estimated to employ about 356 construction workers directly, and another 199 in supplier industries, for a total employment impact of 555 jobs.
With July came the announcement that West Virginia would be launching the state’s second small satellite, the WVU Small Satellite Center, in North Central WV. The SmallSat Center will work with businesses and other organizations to develop West Virginia’s second small satellite and to help those partners offer services and products to clients who want to fly experiments out to low orbit. Candy Cordwell (assistant director) said the SmallSat Center will create 15 new jobs immediately: five at WVU and 10 through the consultant company that will initially be contracted to offer small satellite simulation, design, manufacturing, deployment and management services to the team. Within three to five years, as the center becomes financially self-sustaining, she predicted that the high-wage staff positions will increase to more than 30 jobs in administration, business development, education and advanced aerospace manufacturing. This center not only boosts the aerospace industry statewide but also provides the hope to increase students K-12 interest and education in engineering/growth within the STEM field.
In June 2022, South Korean drug manufacturer UNDBIO signed a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to manufacture insulin in West Virginia. The letter indicates there are plans to locate the facility at the West Virginia University Research Park in Morgantown.
The news of this agreement between UNDBIO and the State of West Virginia is a positive step forward in UNDBIO’s quest to manufacture insulin right here in West Virginia. “While there is still more work to do to finalize this new facility, I stand ready to help to make sure this becomes a reality. I congratulate UNDBIO on this advancement and look forward to supporting them in their investment that could lead to creating more than 1,000 jobs in West Virginia.” – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin
In March, American Medicines Company announced that they are going to build a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in West Virginia. This will bring 500 to 600 high-tech jobs to West Virginia. After listening to an interview with Crystal Mersh she mentioned that they do plan for this company is to not only develop medications, but to also manufacture and distribute.
To kickoff 2022, Governor Jim Justice revealed that Nucor Corporation selected Mason County as the location for a state-of-the-art sheet steel mill. This record investment will exceed $2.7 billion, making it the largest in West Virginia history, as well as the largest single investment Nucor has ever made.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia (TMMWV) will invest $210 million to upgrade existing engine production and add 100 new jobs to increase assembly capacity of its four-cylinder engine line. Once complete, TMMWV’s total investment will be more than $1.8 billion and total employment will exceed 2,000.
“This is such exciting news for West Virginia’s business community as well as our families that businesses are choosing to grow their organizations here. Toyota is a wonderful example of how a global company can be successful right here in West Virginia.” – U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, praised Toyota for their long-term commitment to the Mountain State.
Virgin Hyperloop announced Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020 that it will locate a certification facility on nearly 800 acres of land spanning Tucker and Grant counties where it will leverage intellectual capital and resources from West Virginia University, Marshall University and from across the state. Virgin Hyperloop plans to directly hire 150-200 engineers and technicians for the facility with plans to source talent locally. In addition, the construction and manufacturing of the project will create 7,300 jobs throughout the region over the next five years and the longer-term operation phase will create 6,000.
Comments Off on Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.
Fear. Uncertainty. Challenging Economic Times.
For many Americans, these feelings and beliefs have embedded themselves into our cultural fabric. Reminders of uncertain, and for many, challenging times are plentiful. Gas pump prices have soared over the past 12 months. A gallon of milk is 11.2% higher in the same time period. Your favorite morning coffee tastes a little less fulfilling with the higher price tag. Our society has shifted from one cultural extreme to another – enduring a long stay-at-home mandate that stressed the core of human interaction needs to an economy flooded with out-of-control inflation. Why is this happening? What comes next? Our team of experts has thoughts and ideas. Before reading further, please know these thoughts, beliefs and predictions may make you uncomfortable. They are observations and beliefs; not a crystal ball reading. Time will tell how things play out.
Inflation is the new frowned-upon visitor knocking on doors around the country.
Most of our nation’s current inflation can be pinned to two primary factors. The first factor is stimulus money. The federal government injected over $5 trillion into America’s money supply over a 24 month period via Covid relief funds. This amount represents roughly 27% of the current money supply in circulation. More money in citizen pockets led to increased spending. The higher velocity of spending creates inflation. To combat this velocity, the federal government utilizes one of its key control levers, interest rate fluctuation, to control spending habits. The goal of increasing interest rates is to decrease spending in an effort to slow down the economy. The Feds recent rate increases illustrate the government’s concern that inflation is running too hot. The impending challenge is the Fed’s interest rate hikes are only geared toward addressing the demand (spending habits) side of the equation. It does not address the supply side. The Fed faces an unprecedented task of reining in high inflation with 40% additional money in play.
Simply put, our dollars today are significantly less valuable (lower purchasing power) than they were 12 months ago. Stimulus money aims to help those most in need; those individuals most vulnerable and lowest on the earning potential food chain. The irony is disheartening… Our government over-injected for short-term benefit, thereby creating a long-term inflation challenge. The band aid (government stimulus checks) has been pulled while the wound has intensified. Printing money and more government spending is it the answer to stop the bleeding.
The second factor is energy costs.
Under President Biden, an extreme focus on sustainable, clean energy has resulted in an under supply of oil and gas. In the long run, most agree this will be better for our planet and the sustainability of our nation. Others will point out this goal is a multi-decade process to reach a level of production and reliability to avoid power shortages and blackouts. In the short term, President Biden’s regime eliminated the ability to drill on most federal lands. The recent stay-at-home mandate also resulted in lower power consumption which led drilling companies to halt operations. Sanctions placed on Russia are also in play. The following article goes into great detail about how high energy costs greatly affect inflation: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/06/14/business/gas-prices.html
Where are we heading? How will commercial real estate valuations be affected?
It is impossible for any individual to look into their crystal ball to decipher the outlook 1, 3 or 5 years out. Nonetheless, our team has put together a list of educated guesses.
Our team believes the federal government will continue to push interest rates higher. The government’s goal is to decrease inflation by slowing our economy. Black Diamond Realty projects a 1.5-2.5% increase over current rates within the next 9-12 months. If you are facing a refinance event within the next 2-3 years, lock in rates now. Most likely, they will not be lower 2-3 years from now.
As interest rates continue to rise, CRE valuations will experience downward pressure. The following two sub-bullet points explain why.
Cost of borrowing funds, a buyer’s expense, directly ties into debt service coverage ratios. Many banks seek a minimum 1.2-1.25 DSCR while amortizing loans over 15, 20 or 25 years. We anticipate banks will quickly enter a period of greater scrutiny in which “stress testing loans” will become more laborious similar to policies and procedures observed following 2008-09’s Great Recession.
Cap rates will go up. As the cost to borrow funds increase, a similar rise can be expected to cap rates. Institutional grade deals should retain value while more mom/pop tenants and shorter lease terms will pose greater risk and a corresponding heightened cap rate.
A transition from “cash is trash” back to “cash is king” in the CRE marketplace. Cash has been trash for the past dozen years. Bank and government loans could be achieved at rates slightly above historical inflation figures. This provided tremendous purchasing power to less sophisticated and lower capitalized individuals. Black Diamond Realty observed many deals 90-95% leveraged with creative financing and bank loans leveraging the asset. It is anticipated some investors will still highly leverage assets but we predict at a much lower frequency. Greater cash down will become a returning norm. Cash offers with quick closes will carry greater weight. In summary, rising interest rates will make cash more powerful in the months and years ahead.
Real estate will remain one of the greatest wealth building tools known to mankind. The deal structure and valuations are changing but the fundamentals behind real estate investing’s power remain intact. Real estate is a tangible asset. Historically, real estate has been a tremendous investment tool to hedge against inflation. This centuries long truth will remain strong albeit with changing deal structures and valuations compared to the past half decade.
Please note that statements based on forward-looking estimates may not materialize; there are no guarantees of future economic performance.
Warren Buffet has profited billions with a simple, straightforward investment strategy. Fear creates irrational decisions which lead to opportunities. “Buy when there is fear in the market.” The world’s current fear, uncertainty and challenges will result in tremendous buying opportunities.
The fundamentals of successful commercial real estate investing is changing. Our team of experts recommends keeping the following tips in mind.
Create a 12 month rainy day fund. Calculate your monthly expenses and multiply by 12. Make sure you have this money “set aside” in the event you need to draw from it.
Have some of your liquidity positioned in relatively low risk investments which will allow you to access cash any moment an investment opportunity presents itself.
Take advantage of one of the greatest wealth building tools offered by the federal government – IRS Code 1031. Lever up into larger, higher cash flow and appreciating assets.
Know the asset class you are investing in. Understand the current fundamental strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) for each sector of commercial real estate that you are considering.
Look for stabilized, cash flowing opportunities while not shying away from value add plays if the ROI and time/effort required make sense for your personal situation.
We live in a world of challenges. Fear and anxiety are at all time highs for some. We survived the 1973-81 recession and will certainly overcome the present day’s hurdles. The United States has proven, many times over, to be a dynamic and resilient culture with the ability to overcome adversity. Proceed with caution, be prepared to pounce and consistently monitor opportunities. Buckle up. Remember rainbows only show after periods of rain. Challenging times present wealth building opportunities.
Our Black Diamond Realty team can help guide you. Please call Black Diamond Realty’s Morgantown (304.413.4350) or Martinsburg (304.901.7788) office to set up a consultation with one of our experts.