Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Spotsy developer responds to gun manufacturer
The developer of Crossroads Station in Spotsylvania County said in an email today that gun manufacturer Beretta USA “never had any serious intention of a major expansion” to its nearby distribution center.
“Not once, since they have been located at Crossroads, did they approach us about buying additional land for expansion,” wrote Fitz Johnson, president of Johnson Realty Advisors.
Johnson was responding to my article in today’s Free Lance-Star. I quoted a Beretta official as saying: “Certainly we would have considered our Spotsylvania facility as a candidate for our expanded manufacturing needs, but the Crossroads Station development rendered that consideration moot since we lost the ability to acquire additional industrial property in the area for our plans.”
The Board of Supervisors last August approved Crossroads Station, which will have 610 apartments and up to 900,000 square feet of commercial space by the future site of the Virginia Railway Express station off the U.S. 17 Bypass.
Beretta had expressed its opposition to the development in letters to the county, saying it “could interfere” with a potential 60,000-square-foot expansion to its facility at 6500 Crossroads Parkway in Crossroads Business Park. The letter didn’t say whether the expansion would require the purchase of additional land.
Johnson, who co-owns 800 acres north and south of U.S. 17, said in an email today that Crossroads Station will “far exceed the amount of jobs and tax base that any Beretta expansion would have generated.”
Here is Johnson’s email in its entirety:
“Despite what Beretta says, they never had any serious intention of a major expansion of their Crossroads operation. Not once, since they have been located at Crossroads, did they approach us about buying additional land for expansion. Furthermore, what we have planned at Crossroads Station will far exceed the amount of jobs and tax base that any Beretta expansion would have generated. Based on the long term prospects of Crossroads Station, it would have been a dereliction of duty for the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors to turn the project down. Thankfully, the Board had the long term vision to do what is best for Spotsylvania.”