TAZEWELL, VA – OCTOBER 25, 2022 – Five new jobs and a projected private capital investment of $18 million will be coming to Tazewell County as Blackstone Data Services, LLC, opens its doors at the Bluestone Business and Technology Park shell building. The announcement was made Tuesday at The Bluestone.
In addition to Blackstone Data Services Founder and CEO Seth White, Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith, Virginia Senator Travis Hackworth, a host of Tazewell County officials, federal officials and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) were in attendance.
Blackstone is a data center hosting services and cryptocurrency mining business. The new company will provide data center hosting; server and node maintenance; cryptocurrency mining container asset manufacturing to benefit a three-state area.
Crypto-currency is a digital currency not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or bank, to uphold or maintain it. It is a decentralized system for verifying parties to a transaction have the money they claim to have, utilizing blockchain computer technology and computer analysis of transactions.
“We are pleased to welcome Blackstone Data Services to the Bluestone Technology Park,” said Eastern District Board of Supervisors Member Charlie Stacy. “They will bring much needed high tech, diversified job opportunities to Tazewell County and significant capital investment.”
“We built the Bluestone for technology companies,” said Tazewell County Administrator Eric Young. “Blackstone Data Services is our first high tech tenant and is a welcome addition to the Bluestone. We look forward to Blackstone’s contribution to our park and the community.”
“Our mission is to provide expert turn-key data hosting and technology services, enabling our clients to invest in new technologies without the hassle of self-hosting,” Blackstone CEO Seth White said. “Our vision is to offer a portfolio of data hosting and technology services that allows investors to easily gain access to advanced cryptocurrency technologies and to deploy these as investment instruments. We want to partner with local business leaders in the coal and natural gas businesses to build deployable mining server assets to take advantage of energy generation capabilities (i.e. flare gas from coal mines) to provide revenue generation possibilities. These mining containers will allow operators to take full advantage of natural resources and to improve revenue generation. In the future, it is our vision that Blackstone can utilize the Bluestone building as a basis for manufacturing for these deployable mining container assets and bring on additional full-time employment.”
“Today, we welcome Blackstone Data Services, LLC, as a Bluestone tenant,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “We congratulate the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority for its hard work in bringing the project to the Bluestone. In support of the project, the VCEDA Board approved a request from the Tazewell County IDA to consent to the lease of the building to Blackstone Data Services, as well as a performance-based incentive payback on the IDA’s loan from VCEDA based upon the company achieving its jobs and investment targets. Data centers have been one of VCEDA’s business targets for the region for nearly two decades and we have been promoting the region as the e-Region for 15 years. Blackstone Data Services becomes the fourth data center to locate in the e-Region and VCEDA assisted in some way on all four.”
Belcher noted in 2017, the VCEDA Board approved up to a $2,739,700 loan to the Tazewell County IDA to be used to finance site grading, site development, building construction, utilities installations and extensions, other improvements and costs associated with the construction and development of the approximately 40,000 square foot technology shell building to be occupied by Blackstone.
“The choice by Blackstone Data Services to locate at the Bluestone Regional Business & Technology Center is a significant development for Tazewell County,” said Ninth District Congressman Morgan Griffith. “Data centers and cryptocurrency offer new economic opportunities for Southwest Virginia and Blackstone’s decision will help realize this potential while bringing jobs and investment to our region.”
“I’m thrilled to know that Blackstone will be laying down roots in Tazewell County at the Bluestone Business and Technology Park,” said U.S. Sen. Mark Warner. “I look forward to continuing to work at the federal level to ensure that Southwest Virginia has the resources and infrastructure it needs to continue attracting 21st century companies.”
“Blackstone Data Services’ decision to open at Bluestone Park in Tazewell County speaks to the talent of Virginia’s workforce and the business-friendly environment that we’ve built over the years,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine. “I’m excited to see how this data center will create good-paying jobs and improve economic opportunities in the community.”
Virginia Sen. Travis Hackworth, who spoke at the event, noted he was excited to be a part of the announcement for the new Tazewell County business.
“What Seth and his partners are doing demonstrates that here in Southwest Virginia, we are looking to the future,” Hackworth said. “This is a bold move for our region and I applaud the business, Tazewell County and the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority for diversifying our economy. This type of entrepreneurship is what makes us strong.”
“Today’s announcement is another example of how the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) and local government are making every effort to diversify the economy in Southwest Virginia,” said Virginia Delegate Will Morefield. “The Bluestone Industrial Park has tremendous potential, but the park has struggled to attract tenants over the years. With Tazewell County’s leadership and support from VCEDA, I am confident the Bluestone Park will eventually see more tenants.
“Our region of the Commonwealth has faced challenges in the past several years not seen in more affluent areas,” Morefield continued. “We have limited resources for economic development and I know that all officials involved in promoting economic development are working diligently to ensure that our region has a bright future.”
Specifically, Blackstone will primarily provide full data center hosting services to its clients who wish to purchase and deploy cryptocurrency, nodes or other hostable server technologies. Blackstone will also own and operate its own servers for deployment. This will include project management, planning, deployment and configuration of all data center hosted assets. Additionally, the company will offer server and node maintenance, including preventative scheduled maintenance to ensure deployed assets have maximum uptimes.
“On behalf of the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority and the citizens of Tazewell County, we are pleased to welcome Blackstone Data Services to the Bluestone Technology Park,” said Tazewell County IDA Chairman Kyle Hurt. “They will bring needed diversified job opportunities to Tazewell County and significant capital investment.
“Blackstone Data Services is a valuable addition to our Bluestone Technology Park,” Hurt continued. “As a regional data center, they are a welcome addition to our technology park. We look forward to Blackstone’s contribution to our park and the community.”
About Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and Southwest Virginia’s e-Region: The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, created by the Virginia General Assembly in 1988 to enhance and diversify the region’s economy and help create jobs, markets Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and its focus on electronic information technology, energy, education, emerging technologies, and entrepreneurship. VCEDA is a unique economic development organization that manages funds for economic development projects from a percentage of the coal and natural gas severance taxes paid by coal and natural gas companies that operate in the region. Located in southwestern Virginia, the region includes Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties and the City of Norton. www.vceda.us or www.e-Region.org.