Henrico Earns 3rd AAA rating for Water and Sewer Revenue Bonds

Henrico is one of 12 localities in the US to receive top rating from Moody’s

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HENRICO, VIRGINIA, May 24, 2019 – Henrico County has earned an Aaa bond rating from Moody’s Investors Service for its upcoming water and sewer revenue bond issue, making it one of 12 localities in the country to receive the company’s highest possible rating.

Moody’s upgraded its rating from a previous Aa1 as Henrico prepares to issue an estimated $77.2 million in water and sewer revenue bonds to support utility-system improvements.

Henrico has maintained AAA ratings for water and sewer bonds from both Standard & Poor’s and Fitch Ratings since 2009. It has held Aaa and AAA ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s for general obligation bonds since 1977. It secured a similar AAA rating from Fitch in 1998.

“The bond ratings assigned to Henrico County after three independent and comprehensive reviews reflect the highest degree of confidence in our community’s long-term stability and its fiscal health and management,” County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “Superior bond ratings matter, because they allow communities to borrow money at favorable interest rates to build schools, libraries, fire stations and other public facilities.

“The rating upgrade by Moody’s and the reaffirmation of top ratings by Standard & Poor’s and Fitch put us in elite company. If you also consider our low tax rates and high quality of life, Henrico County clearly represents the gold standard of communities.”

Moody’s announced its Aaa rating and stable outlook for Henrico’s water and sewer system revenue bonds to investors this week.

“The Aaa rating reflects the system’s dynamic service area and regional nature of service provision,” Moody’s said in its announcement. “The rating further reflects a healthy financial performance with a narrower liquidity position due to support of the system’s capital program, ample water supply and capacity, manageable leverage, and satisfactory legal provisions.”

Henrico plans to use some of the proceeds from the upcoming bond sale to refinance a portion of its outstanding revenue bonds, which is expected to result in savings without extending the debt’s retirement date.

Henrico’s water and sewer system is supported by revenues generated by the enterprise, not by general tax dollars. The system serves nearly 99,000 water customers and 96,000 sewer customers.

About the Henrico EDA

Located in the heart of the Eastern Seaboard, Henrico is an AAA-bonded county located adjacent to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond. The EDA is your single point of contact for business development and site selection services. Find properties and run reports with our GIS tool at HenricoProperties.com. Learn more about White Oak Technology Park, a master-planned high-tech manufacturing park, at whiteoaktechpark.com. Visit Henrico.com for the latest news and to sign up to receive our Property Now and Henrico Now newsletters.

 

Why are the World’s Largest Technology and Internet Companies Coming to Henrico County?

Q&A with QTS’ Clint Heiden and the Richmond Network Access Point (NAP) - where data center, subsea fiber and terrestrial networks converge

Clint Heiden  Chief Revenue Officer  QTS Realty Trust, Inc.

Clint Heiden

Chief Revenue Officer

QTS Realty Trust, Inc.

HENRICO, VIRGINIA, April 30, 2019 – Vint Cerf, Chief Evangelist for Google, also known as one of the co-inventers of the Internet, recently noted, “The subsea cables that terminate in Richmond have opened an amazing opportunity for Henrico County to become a LOCUS for both domestic and international applications. That gives good reason for the creation of the QTS Richmond NAP, a place where multiple providers and Internet services can meet, connect and reach the international cables that link Virginia to other parts of the world.”

Cerf and some of the world’s most sought after Internet and technology industry giants are preparing to descend upon Henrico Country for the inaugural Summit Meeting of the QTS Richmond NAP.  Speakers include leaders from Facebook, Microsoft, Google and AWS, along with an anticipated attendance of 300+ enterprise and government IT executives, state and local officials. They will convene to discuss the confluence of the new MAREA/BRUSA next-generation subsea cables and the QTS Richmond NAP that are establishing Richmond as the premier North American global interconnection hub.

The impact is reflected in significant recent investment in the County. In just two years since the cable landings deployment, Henrico County has accounted for 53% of announced statewide investments in Data Processing and Hosting, compared to 6% during the nine-year period from 2008 - 2016.1)

Q.        Clint, what is the Richmond NAP Summit about and why are these industry leaders so interested?  Also, can anyone attend?

A.        It’s amazing when you consider the technology and business influence these global leaders have. Their interest in speaking at the Summit clearly validates the importance of the subsea cables terminating in Henrico County and the business ecosystems that are being created.  In addition to the obvious value to the County, this new NAP is important to the growth of the Internet and its data flow allowing for a bypass of Ashburn, which is becoming congested and overly expensive. It will be a once in a lifetime gathering of technology and internet titans that may never be replicated in Richmond again. Anyone can attend for free and we encourage them to register on the QTS Richmond NAP webpage here.

Q.        What are the forces driving the Richmond NAP?

A.        If you think your business is not a data business, then you are late to the game.  Just think about banking, if I can’t bank online I’ll switch to another bank.  Likewise, if you don’t understand that once on the Internet your business is global you’re missing growth opportunities and not thinking big enough. The NAP addresses both of these issues. In addition, new applications and services are generating staggering increases in data production that are fueling dramatic growth in demand for local, regional, national and global connectivity that rely on subsea cables as the cornerstone for global interconnection and transmission.

Richmond is an ideal geographic location for North American continental access of subsea cables and all forms of interconnection mentioned previously. The QTS Richmond NAP is one of the world’s largest carrier-neutral data centers as well as a business-friendly environment. Facebook has begun their multi-billion investment adjacent to the Richmond NAP, along with Bank of America and Kinsale Insurance who are expanding their operations in Henrico County. These are just three of many enterprises making major investments in data driven infrastructure in the region. It is also creating a business ecosystem for entrepreneurial firms and is becoming a region of incubation for startups led by students coming out of leading surrounding state universities.  

Q.        What are the technological advancements making the QTS Richmond NAP a reality?

A.        Good question and it’s about more than just technology. Southern Virginia has long been attracting investment from network and data center providers. Specifically, Henrico County has been at the forefront of this trend due to a combination of business friendly policies, attractive land for development, scalable power and a highly educated workforce in the county and surrounding areas. As a result, the area has a rich tapestry of existing fiber networks, internet exchanges, SDN networks and data centers serving thousands of customers.

In just the last two years you have the arrival of both the MAREA and BRUSA subsea cables, along with the Facebook investment. These are transformative events that have opened the European, Latin and South American markets to the region via the lowest latency and highest capacity ever deployed between the continents.

Then when you consider the performance enabled these subsea cables, it all becomes clear. MAREA and BRUSA are the highest capacity, lowest latency subsea cable systems ever built. MAREA is a Telxius joint project with Facebook and Microsoft. Innovations in optical transmission are enabling staggering increases in capacity. MAREA has reached 200 terabits per second (Tbps) of ultrahigh transmission capacity and is the highest capacity subsea cable system across the Atlantic connecting the US and Southern Europe.

BRUSA is a private cable built by Telxius and offers one of the lowest latency communication links between the U.S. and Brazil. Together, these cables provide state-of-the-art connectivity to enable the development of next generation cloud services and content distribution to and from Latin America and European markets.

To put this next-generation capacity and speed into perspective, 200 terabits per second is the equivalent of being able to download 12,000 HD movies per second, or every movie ever made in 42 seconds!  This compares with cable systems developed as recently as 2013 that only delivered 9 Tbps.

Another major advancement is innovation in optical transmission that is enabling a new interconnection model where subsea cables can now terminate directly inside a multi-tenant data center rather than the traditional cable landing station (CLS) typically near a beach with limited interconnect options. Today’s data intensive applications are driving demand for capacity and performance that is better served by terminating subsea cables directly in a connectivity-rich NAP as close as possible to the CLS.

Also in the works are numerous additional subsea cable terminations in the Richmond NAP that will connect the continents of Africa, the middle east and Asia, as well as second path to Europe. 

Q.        Why did Telxius choose Richmond and QTS for the cable terminations?

A.        Because of its speed and proximity to the rest of the US, Richmond is the best access point into North America - more so than older cable landings in Florida, New York and New Jersey. QTS’ Richmond data center is one of the worlds’ largest and features in-building access to a wide array of on-net carriers including multiple fiber routes, third-party neutral internet peering exchanges, and direct access to the world’s largest cloud platforms.

The Richmond NAP provides unmatched speed and savings for enterprises and hyperscalers that no longer have to route their content through exchanges in Northern Virginia. Traffic can now be routed to major metropolitan areas like Philadelphia, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Cleveland and many more areas faster and cheaper than relying on Northern Virginia. Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Google have established, or are in the process of establishing, a presence in the region to take advantage of the new opportunity. 

Q.        How important are the cables to the global economy?

A.        The Internet and its growth, such as the new QTS Richmond NAP, means every company is global and as such has access to new customers, technologies and even employees. Just a few years ago you rarely heard talk about subsea cables when you were talking about data center infrastructure. Today virtually every data center is making interconnection with subsea cables a priority in order to support data-driven global business. And it’s reflected in the international capacity deployed by the big content, cloud and hyperscale companies increasing 14-fold between 2012 to 2016.2) They recognize the need to be where the subsea cables terminate in order to get the direct, many-to-many global connectivity that enables them to provide their customers with private and proximate connections to the internet ecosystems that grow around it.

Every global business is now required to collaborate with partners instantly, across oceans, and meet user expectations for high-performance connectivity anytime, anywhere. This is not possible with conventional IT architectures where data is transmitted via lower latency networks and across distant, centralized corporate data centers. Subsea cables are the only option for extending their businesses globally.

The global economy is quickly taking shape and every business is considering new growth strategies. Those that eliminate geographic boundaries and allow for the elegant movement of data across new paths such as MAREA and BRUSA to access new markets will be successful. Those that do not will be left behind


Today QTS is a leading provider of data center solutions across a diverse footprint spanning more than 6 million square feet of owned mega scale data center space throughout North America. Through its software-defined technology platform, QTS is able to deliver secure, compliant infrastructure solutions, robust connectivity and premium customer service to leading hyperscale technology companies, enterprises, and government entities.

1) “The Economic and Fiscal Contribution that Data Centers make to Virginia,” produced by Mangum Economics for the Northern Virginia Technology Council, February 2018.

2) TeleGeography

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Henrico County Lowers Taxes for All Businesses

Over 14,000 Henrico Businesses No Longer Pay Gross Receipts Taxes

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HENRICO, VIRGINIA, April 24, 2019 – Last night Henrico County's Board of Supervisors approved the budget for fiscal year 2019-2020. The budget exempts the first $400,000 in gross receipts from BPOL (Business, Professional and Occupational License) taxes. Now, 14,000 out of 25,000 (72%) Henrico County businesses will no longer pay BPOL taxes. In only three years the Board of Supervisors has reduced BPOL four times. This is a big win for all Henrico businesses, especially for small businesses and demonstrates Henrico's commitment to cultivating a business-friendly environment. The budget also left unchanged the low real estate tax rate at 87 cents, the lowest among Virginia's large localities.

Since 2015 Henrico's Board of Supervisors have worked to reduce a business's tax burden across all sectors.

  • 87¢ real estate tax rate remains the lowest of the large urban jurisdictions in Virginia

  • 70% decrease in Machinery & Tools taxes in 2015 to 30¢

  • 67% decrease in the aircraft personal property tax rate in 2016 to 50¢

  • 89% decrease in the data center personal property tax rate in 2017 to 40¢

  • $100,000 BPOL standard deduction in 2015, increasing to $400,000

  • No storm water tax or fees

 

About the Henrico EDA

Located in the heart of the Eastern Seaboard, Henrico is an AAA-bonded county located adjacent to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond. The EDA is your single point of contact for business development and site selection services. Find properties and run reports with our GIS tool at HenricoProperties.com. Learn more about White Oak Technology Park, a master-planned high-tech manufacturing park, at whiteoaktechpark.com. Visit Henrico.com for the latest news and to sign up to receive our Property Now and Henrico Now newsletters.

 

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Approves Substantial Tax Rate Cut of 88.6% for Data Centers

HENRICO, VIRGINIA, April 25, 2017 – The Henrico County Board of Supervisors approved a separate tax rate that will dramatically reduce the property tax burden for businesses whose primary services are storage, management and processing of digital data.

The move drastically cuts the current business property tax rate on computer and related equipment for data centers from $3.50 per $100 of assessed value to just $0.40 per $100. Henrico now has the most favorable tax treatment for data centers of any Virginia locality with a population greater than 25,000. The approved rate will go into effect beginning with the 2017 tax year.

“By creating this new rate for data centers, Henrico County is positioning itself to attract more businesses in this high-growth sector,” Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas explained. “These businesses bring high-paying jobs to the region, along with significant and ongoing capital investment.”

Jim Reinhart, Chief Operating Officer, Quality Technology Services (QTS), agreed, saying, “With reliable, affordable energy, strong connectivity and a skilled workforce, Henrico County is an attractive data center market. QTS applauds Henrico and its leaders, who continue to identify innovative ways to support responsible growth for the county. The proposed tax reduction will make Henrico an increasingly attractive option for data center providers like QTS to grow and prosper.”

“This property tax incentive is great news for our existing data centers and ultimately for new data center projects that choose to capitalize on sites such as White Oak Technology Park, where we offer robust electric, fiber, water and sewer infrastructure,” said Gary McLaren, Henrico County Economic Development Authority Executive Director. “In a nutshell, Henrico County's value proposition just became much more valuable to the data center sector.”

About the Henrico EDA

Located in the heart of the Eastern Seaboard, Henrico is an AAA-bonded county located adjacent to Virginia’s capital city of Richmond. The EDA is your single point of contact for business development and site selection services. Find properties and run reports with our GIS tool at HenricoProperties.com. Learn more about White Oak Technology Park, a master-planned high-tech manufacturing park, at whiteoaktechpark.com. Visit Henrico.com for the latest news and to sign up to receive our Property Now and Henrico Now newsletters.

 

Henrico County Board of Supervisors Approves Business License Tax Cut

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HENRICO COUNTY, April 25, 2017 – The Henrico County Board of Supervisors approved a new ordinance reducing the business license tax. The previous threshold of the first $100,000 of gross receipts being non-taxable income has now doubled to $200,000. This new deduction will go into effect January 1, 2018. This means an additional 1,560 businesses will NOT pay business license taxes to the County, bringing the total number of licensed businesses exempt from paying the tax to 12,600.  

This increased threshold is good news for all Henrico businesses, not just small ones. Any business making over $200,000 will be able to deduct $200,000 from their earnings before calculating the amount of their business license tax.  

Business owners like Barry Martin of the Idea Center in Henrico believe this is a big step for all businesses in Henrico County. The Idea Center is an award-winning ad agency that has been operating in Henrico since 1998. “This is a win-win situation for both large and small companies doing business in Henrico County and should be great for economic development” said Martin of the new reduction. 

Henrico County previously eliminated the Business, Professional, Occupational License (BPOL) fee to file for most business license categories beginning in 1996. The elimination of the BPOL fee, the new BPOL tax rate reduction, and the 2016 reduction of Machinery & Tools tax rates by 70% are evidence that Henrico County proactively supports its existing businesses and encourages new businesses to locate here. Henrico’s pro-business climate is advantageous for all types of business from Fortune 1000 headquarters to sole proprietorships. Henrico’s low and stable tax structure allows it to attract more businesses so the county can continue to provide the high-quality services that its citizens have come to expect.     

About the Henrico EDA

Assisting with workforce, relocation and expansion, and business consultation needs, the Henrico Economic Development Authority works to ensure that businesses Come for Success and Stay for Life. The EDA’s mission is to increase county revenues through the attraction of high quality jobs and new capital investment with domestic and international companies, as well as the retention and growth of existing businesses, resulting in continued improvement of the county’s well-being and the quality of life for Henrico citizens.

Find properties and run reports with the EDA GIS tool, HenricoProperties.com. Learn more about White Oak Technology Park, a master-planned high-tech manufacturing center, at whiteoaktechpark.com. Visit Henrico.com for the latest news and to sign up to receive EDA Property Now and Henrico Now newsletters. 

International Firm Polykon Breaks Ground On $60 Million Facility In Henrico

HENRICO, VIRGINIA – Polykon Manufacturing, LLC – a joint venture between international firms Seppic, Inc., and Schülke, Inc. – broke ground Wednesday on a new $60 million manufacturing facility in Henrico County. The 55,000-square-foot facility is expected to bring approximately 50 new jobs to the area. Construction is slated to be complete in mid 2018.

Seppic and Schülke are entities of Air Liquide Healthcare.

Polykon will manufacture ingredients for the cosmetics and pharmaceuticals industries at the new facility in Henrico‘s White Oak Technology Park.

Approximately 45 individuals attended the groundbreaking event, including Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas and Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore, both of whom made formal remarks during the ceremony.

“About 80 percent of our customers are located in the Northeast, so it helps us to have a manufacturing plant in Virginia,” said Bertrand Masselot, Managing Director of Schülke, noting that the quality of roads and the proximity of the site to the airport, state highways and the company’s business entities make the site irresistible.

John Vithoulkas

John Vithoulkas

Todd Haymore

Todd Haymore

During his opening remarks, Henrico County Manager John Vithoulkas said, “This effort would not be possible without the good work of our Economic Authority and the Virginia Commonwealth Development Partnership. These advanced manufacturing projects are important … because they create opportunities for construction, for engineers, for vendors, for suppliers and other supporting services in Virginia. The economic investment and jobs created will continue to advance the White Oak Technology Park as a Class A business environment for the Commonwealth and the County.”

Additional resource: International Firm Invests 60 Million in New Henrico Operation

 

 

About Polykon

Polykon is a joint venture between Seppic, Inc., and Schülke, Inc. – entities of Air Liquide Healthcare. Seppic designs and supplies a wide range of specialty ingredients for the health care and beauty industries. Present in more than 100 countries, the company employs over 600 people worldwide. Schülke, Inc., designs and supplies antiseptics and disinfectants for medical environments and preservatives for the personal care industry. The firm employs over 900 people worldwide.

 

About Air Liquide

A world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, Air Liquide is present in 80 countries, with more than 50,000 employees, and serves more than two million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902. Air Liquides ambition is to be the leader in its industry, delivering long-term performance and acting responsibly.

 

About the Henrico County Economic Development Authority

The Henrico County Economic Development Authority (EDA) was created in 1968 and is the business ambassador to Henrico County. Working closely with the Henrico Board of Supervisors and administration, the EDA focuses its efforts on attracting capital investment and well-paying jobs to the county so that the tax revenues generated will provide area citizens with superior government services and infrastructure. Through its constant efforts, the organization seeks to improve Henrico's well-being and the community's quality of life.

EDA Strengthens Staff, Board of Directors

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The Henrico Economic Development Authority (EDA) is thrilled to announce two additions to its Board of Directors.

New to the Board of Directors is Philip C. Strother, JD, LLM who is the Founder & Parther at Strother Law and Ms. Jennifer Hendren, CDME, Chief Marketing Officer at Richmond Region Tourism. In addition for 2019, S. Floyd Mays Jr. will serve as chair, Susan Warriner Custer will act as vice chair, Travis Pearson will serve as treasurer, and Eddie Whitlock will take over as secretary on the Board of Directors. A complete listing of the board can be found on the EDA's website. The changes bring increased depth to the EDA team.

“I’m excited to get this year started on a great note,” said Gary McLaren, Executive Director, Henrico EDA. “We’ve established a robust, high-energy team that’s committed to our core mission of bringing a surplus of good jobs and capital investment to Henrico County.”

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International Firm Invests $60 Million in New Henrico Operation

The Henrico County Economic Development Authority (EDA) is pleased to announce that Polykon Manufacturing, LLC – a joint venture between international firms Seppic, Inc., and Schülke, Inc. – will invest more than $60 million to establish a new manufacturing operation in Henrico County. The project is expected to create approximately 50 new jobs.

Polykon will manufacture ingredients for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries at Henrico‘s White Oak Technology Park. Seppic and schülke are entities of Air Liquide Healthcare.

“Our U.S. expansion project is an exciting opportunity for future growth,” said Lionel Genix, President and CEO of Seppic, Inc. “We explored U.S. locations and selected Virginia and Henrico County among several that were considered. The support of the Governor, the Secretary of Commerce and Trade, and the Henrico Economic Development Authority has been instrumental in our decision to embark on this new business opportunity in Virginia. Not only is this location in close proximity to most of our U.S. customers – it provides us with a foundation for future strategic growth and expansion.”

“Henrico’s recent measures to better attract investment positively influenced Polykon Manufacturing’s decision to select Henrico,” said Tyrone E. Nelson, Chairman of the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. “With its new facility in White Oak Technology Park, Polykon will be poised for future growth, joining high-performing companies like QTS and Anord Critical Power.”

“Henrico’s positive labor environment, Mid-Atlantic location, competitive operating costs, and strong local government are qualities that are especially appealing to international firms, and those qualities put us in a great position early in this project,” said Gary McLaren, Henrico County Economic Development Authority Executive Director. “White Oak Technology Park’s robust infrastructure and the work we did to maximize the site’s potential for Polykon made a big difference, too.”

The EDA's support in helping Seppic and schülke secure the White Oak location was a significant contributor to the overall success of the project. “The White Oak site recommendation from the Henrico EDA was exactly what we were looking for,” explained Genix. “Additionally, having the EDA’s assistance and support during the regulatory process and being provided with key community introductions helped the due diligence work of the project go smoothly. We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to our continued work in the region.”

The project was generated through the Cushman Wakefield Business Incentives Practice and secured for Virginia through the cooperation of the Greater Richmond Partnership, the Henrico EDA, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Governor's office.

About Polykon
Polykon is a joint venture between Seppic, Inc. and Schülke, Inc. – entities of Air Liquide Healthcare. Seppic designs and supplies a wide range of specialty ingredients for the health care and beauty industries. Present in more than 100 countries, it employs over 600 people worldwide. Schülke, Inc., designs and supplies antiseptics and disinfectants for medical environments and preservatives for the personal care industry. The firm employs over 900 people worldwide.

About Air Liquide
A world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health, Air Liquide is present in 80 countries with more than 50,000 employees and serves more than two million customers and patients. Oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen have been at the core of the company’s activities since its creation in 1902. Air Liquide’s ambition is to be the leader in its industry, delivering long-term performance and acting responsibly.