Virginia is a place where, when a productive workday ends, business professionals trade their power suits for swimsuits and their dress shoes for tennis sneakers.
Virginia’s landscape includes a mountainous western region carved by the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountain ranges, with the Shenandoah Valley resting between. Low hills stretch through the central Piedmont region, eventually leading to the state’s picturesque coastal plains. Midway between New York and Florida, Virginia offers a strategic location for various industries and business operations. Often called “The Gateway to the South,” Virginia’s borders with Washington, D.C. and Maryland allow prime access to the Mid-Atlantic region, while neighboring states Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee offer an open pathway to the South. Last, but certainly not least, Virginia’s substantial Atlantic coastline allows for limitless shipping and trading opportunities. In fact, last year saw the launch of the Virginia International Trade Alliance, a collaborative effort of more than 60 companies across the state that aims to promote and advance international trade and investment. And with more than 70,000 miles of paved roadways, Virginia’s transportation infrastructure is sprawling and healthy.
Virginia has five distinct climate regions: Tidewater, Piedmont, Northern Virginia, Western Mountain, and Southwestern Mountain. The different regions offer outstanding opportunities for a wide range of outdoor activities, such as skiing in the mountains and playing golf in the valley both in the same day. Golfing, hiking, bicycling, and camping are year-round activities in Virginia, and the coastal regions provide plenty of opportunity for all water sports. This diverse climate allows for an enjoyable quality of life that many relocating and expanding businesses are seeking.
Recreation and Redevelopment in Roanoke Valley
It’s all about balance in Virginia’s Roanoke region. A thriving urban core is a five-minute drive from the Blue Ridge Parkway. When the workday is done, the productive, skilled labor force knows how to enjoy the region’s arts and recreation amenities. Shorter commutes and good roads have most people relaxing with family and friends, watching a soccer game, or working out at the gym while their counterparts in other cities are still sitting in traffic.
Two construction projects in the urban center symbolize the region’s balance, and its future: a new art museum and a medical complex. Next to Roanoke’s historic City Market, the spectacular new Taubman Museum of Art is taking shape and is scheduled to open in November. The 81,000-square-foot building was designed by architect Randall Stout as a tribute to the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding the valley. Its dramatic composition of layered forms in steel, patinated zinc, and high-performance glass stands in stark contrast to the 100-year-old brick buildings that dominate the City Market. This juxtaposition demonstrates the region’s willingness to embrace the new while honoring its past.
Also changing the landscape of the region are new medical facilities rising out of a redevelopment area just south of the downtown business district. The headquarters of the Carilion Clinic, one of the largest healthcare companies in Virginia and the region’s largest employer, is under construction. Slated next is a new medical school and research institute, both joint ventures between the Carilion Clinic and nearby Virginia Tech. The school will welcome its first class in 2010. The research institute will focus on translating medical research into real-world applications for patient care.
Just 45 minutes south of the urban center is Smith Mountain Lake, which features 500 miles of shoreline and stunning vistas. Easy commuting distance and growing retail and restaurant choices are leading more and more families to live there year round. For full-time residents or weekend visitors, the lake is a haven for water sports, including sailing, boating, water skiing, and fishing.
Cost of living is important to the corporate and household bottom line. Roanoke’s cost of living for 2007 was more than 8% below the national average, according to the ACCRA Cost of Living Index. That figure includes the cost of filling your gas tank and your grocery cart, buying clothes for the family, visiting the doctor, and even taking the family dog to the vet. The average price of a home sold in the Roanoke Valley in 2007 was well below the national average, but still up from the previous year’s price.
The Roanoke Valley is a great place to find the perfect balance between work and play. For more information, visit, www.roanoke.org.
Culpeper: A Convergence of Business and Pleasure
Opening later this month in June, Terremark Worldwide, Inc. will be the most secure and technologically sophisticated data center on the Eastern seaboard.
Located on a 30-acre site in Culpeper, VA, this ultra-high-tech data center campus also serves to highlight the qualities that make Culpeper such a remarkable place. Culpeper is a rare find, a location that has managed to hold onto its genuine hometown atmosphere and charm while solidly embracing the dynamics of the new economy.
In fact, technology has changed how and where business is done, and positioned Culpeper as a new breed of business location. Today’s ideal business climate is found where geography, technology, and quality of life converge to create new opportunities for growing businesses, while retaining the qualities that make it an ideal place to raise a family. This combination is found in Culpeper.
About 65 miles from Washington, D.C. and in the middle of Virginia’s major business and tourism centers, Culpeper is the perfect center for doing business with cities in the north, south, and central United States. In fact, Culpeper County has the highest concentration of international business anywhere in the surrounding region.
While Culpeper is home to some of the nation’s leading high-tech, manufacturing, distribution and service firms, the county’s agricultural roots remain strong. Culpeper’s balanced economy grows everything from fiber-optic networks to Cabernet. Today, Culpeper offers a unique combination of businesses, farms, and residential communities that provide the perfect blend of modern convenience in a rural setting.
Culpeper’s geography, technology, and quality of life were instrumental in attracting Terremark, a leading global provider of managed IT software solutions for government and private sectors. While more and more businesses discover it, Culpeper has not only retained its hometown charm, it has blossomed. Quaint shops and restaurants flourish downtown, while farms and vineyards thrive in the county’s rolling hills.
Culpeper truly is the best of all worlds. While it’s close enough to international business corridors, it is far enough into the Virginian countryside to make the world seem just a little less chaotic. If you’re looking for a place to grow your business, while also providing a true sense of place, you owe it to yourself, your employees, and your customers to discover Culpeper.
For more information about Culpeper, visit our Web site at www.culpepercounty.gov.