TAZEWELL, VA – MAY 26, 2023 — Sixty-seven retained and eight new full-time jobs, for a total of 75 jobs will be coming to Richlands, Va., as a $900,000 loan from the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) to the Tazewell County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) is used to assist CNX Resources in the relocation and expansion of the gas company’s Virginia headquarters.
As part of the agreement, Tazewell County IDA is purchasing some 121 acres of land in Tazewell from the company, giving the IDA property it can use for future economic development.
CNX, a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is the largest producer of natural gas in Virginia, with operations primarily in Buchanan, Tazewell and Russell counties. The company is a premier, low carbon intensive natural gas development, production, midstream and technology company. Its corporate headquarters are located near Pittsburgh, Pa.
The loan was closed Friday at the Tazewell County IDA office and will result in CNX Resources relocating from its current leased space location at Claypool Hill which it is outgrowing to the Richlands Professional building on 1600 Front Street in Richlands. The move is expected to be complete in the first quarter of 2024.
“VCEDA is pleased to assist the Tazewell County IDA and CNX Resources in this job retention and expansion project,” said VCEDA Executive Director/General Counsel Jonathan Belcher. “CNX Resources has long been an important part of Southwest Virginia, providing high paying jobs, paying severance taxes which in turn assists additional economic development in the region and assisting in the support of various community projects. CNX could have placed these high paying jobs in another state, which is why we are very pleased to see them choose to remain in Tazewell County and in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region for this expansion.”
Funds from the proceeds of the loan will be used to finance the purchase of the Tazewell real estate and for building renovations and improvements related the to the Richlands building. The company looked at locations in Virginia and West Virginia prior to the decision being made to move to the Richlands location.
“Not only does this agreement assist CNX Resources in its Virginia operations expansion plans, but at the same time, it will help two towns – Tazewell and Richlands — in our operational footprint,” said CNX Resources Vice President of Virginia Operations Brian Green. “The professional building we will be moving into has long been a staple in Richlands and we look forward to being able to bring it back to what it was historically in the community. Additionally, through the Tazewell property purchase by the IDA, we are excited about the possibilities it provides to Tazewell for additional economic development.
“The overall project has been made possible by VCEDA, the Tazewell County IDA and CNX working together,” Green added. “We look forward to bringing additional jobs to Richlands and to retaining the existing jobs we have here in Southwest Virginia. Our Virginia operations are an important and integral part of CNX, both historically and going into the future.”
Under the terms of the agreement to retain the company’s regional headquarters in Virginia, the expansion project and the associated jobs and investment, the IDA purchased several parcels of land currently owned by CNX totaling approximately 121 acres near Tazewell High School. The $500,000 purchase price for the land paid by the IDA to CNX will provide the company with funds to help offset the cost of the improvements and renovations needed at the Richlands Professional Building. At the same time, the deal will allow the IDA to obtain the Tazewell property it can use for future economic development. The IDA will also make available an additional $400,000 to CNX Resources to further help with improvements and renovations at the Richlands Professional Building. CNX Resources has entered into a 15-year lease with RPB Properties on the Richlands Professional Building.
“CNX has long been a great business partner with Southwest Virginia, providing excellent wages, benefits and tax revenue to our counties,” said Virginia Senator Travis Hackworth. “It is great to see them further their commitment to Southwest Virginia with this new regional headquarters office expansion in Richlands, Va. I am excited to see this many jobs coming to downtown Richlands that will only spur more business and revenue to existing businesses.”
Virginia Del. Will Morefield agreed, noting, “This is excellent news for the Town of Richlands and the surrounding region. Natural gas production plays a vital role in Southwest Virginia’s economy by employing hundreds of people and ensuring that dozens of local contractors can continue to work. CNX’s commitment to our region is strong and I commend the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority for all of its efforts to promote our region. This past General Assembly session, I passed legislation that will qualify coalbed methane to be an eligible fuel for Virginia’s Green Jobs Tax credit. This will give natural gas companies in Southwest Virginia more incentives to drill natural gas and create more jobs.”
Tazewell County officials noted the project brings jobs to Richlands and provides the county with additional opportunities for economic development.
“We are happy to see another expansion in Richlands,” said Board of Supervisors Chairperson Shanna Plaster. “CNX has long been a partner for economic development in Tazewell County. Their investment in Downtown Richlands will give a boost to the town and their expansion will provide jobs with CNX and their contractors for residents in the entire county.”
Tazewell County Administrator Eric Young added, “The board is grateful to VCEDA for loaning us the funds to buy land from CNX in the Town of Tazewell which adjoins our school property. Our purchase gives CNX capital they are investing in refurbishing a landmark building in Downtown Richlands for their new offices.”
Tazewell County IDA Chairman Kyle Hurt noted, “We are excited about this project. CNX will employ our residents at high wages and contract with others who will create many additional jobs.”
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.