Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Former retail distribution center in Mecklenburg County sold

A holding company has bought a former retail distribution center in Mecklenburg County, paving the way for a new business operation that local officials say is expected to create at least 40 jobs.

Starglory Investment Holding LLC purchased the 31-acre Stage Stores Distribution Center property in South Hill on Oct. 30 for $1.84 million from the county’s industrial development authority, according to county records and a news release Monday from the IDA sent by Virginia’s Growth Alliance, a regional economic development organization.

The former Stage Stores Distribution Center in South Hill. Photo courtesy of the Mecklenburg County Industrial Development Authority.

The news release stated that the company has committed to investing $10 million in the property and “has outlined an ambitious plan for the Stage Stores Distribution Center building, which includes launching several innovative projects in the fields of manufacturing, recycling, new energy, and new agricultural technology.”

“These initiatives are set to position Mecklenburg County and the Town of South Hill as a hub for cutting-edge industrial development and environmental sustainability,” according to the news release.

The timeline for when the company will move in and begin operating is unclear.

David Denny, executive director of Virginia’s Growth Alliance, said the company is new to Mecklenburg County.

“This is a parent organization formed as a new business that will be doing multiple things within the building,” Denny said in an email.

Mecklenburg County Economic Development Director Angie Kellett said operations at the Mecklenburg County site will include manufacturing plastic shopping bags and upfitting the insides of food trucks. For further details, she deferred to a company representative and company attorney, neither of whom responded to an email Monday.

According to Virginia State Corporation Commission records, Starglory Investment Holding LLC was registered on Oct. 27 at the Peebles Street address.

Mecklenburg County is in Virginia’s Southside on the North Carolina border. The building’s close proximity to the Port of Virginia and direct access to Interstate 85 were key factors in Starglory’s purchasing decision, according to the news release.

“The location is ideal for facilitating efficient distribution and logistics operations for the company’s upcoming projects,” the release stated.

The building formerly housed a distribution center for the department store chain Peebles until Peebles’ parent company, Stage Stores, announced in 2017 it would close that site.

The IDA worked with the Virginia Tobacco Commission to buy the property in early 2019 for $1.6 million and began marketing it to potential buyers.

Meanwhile, Stage Stores began converting Peebles stores to its Gordmans brand in 2020 before filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy later that year.

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Alleghany Highlands to host housing summit

The Alleghany Highlands Economic Development Corp. will host the Alleghany Highlands Housing Summit on April 25, 2024, at the Historic Masonic Theatre in Clifton Forge.

The program includes a lineup of speakers and roundtable discussions aimed at creating a framework for housing investments in the region, according to a release announcing the event.

More information and registration details are online.

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Lynchburg seeks input on plans for Martin Luther King Jr. bridge

The city of Lynchburg will host a second public meeting to seek input on plans for the beautification of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge on Fifth Street.

This meeting will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at E.C. Glass High School Auditorium, 2111 Memorial Ave. Light refreshments will be served.

The city’s Department of Community Development has partnered with Hill City Design Studio and Schwartz & Associates Consulting Engineering to begin a redesign process for the bridge.

The bridge, originally constructed in 1909, was replaced in 1982. It was renamed in honor of King in March 2005.

The first public meeting was held Nov. 2.

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Youngkin announces board appointments

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has announced additional board appointments, including several people from Southwest and Southside.

Broadband Advisory Council: Steven Sandy of Vinton, assistant county administrator, Franklin County.

Virginia LGBTQ+ Advisory Board: Teri Crawford Brown of Tazewell County, CEO/president, Blackberry Winter; Jeffrey Hoeflich-Nickels of Roanoke County, owner, i77 Strategies LLC.

Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Board of Trustees: Steve Ahn of Damascus, science teacher, Washington County Public Schools.

Student Advisory Board: Arrow Brooks of Bristol, Lance Toapanta of Salem.

Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship Awards Committee: Cameron Patterson of Farmville, vice president for student affairs, Longwood University, and senior partner for strategic initiatives, Robert Russa Moton Museum.