One of Chesterfield County’s fastest-growing areas has a new landowner in play: Chesterfield County.
The county’s economic development authority announced Wednesday it spent $13 million to buy about 2,000 acres near Moseley in the southwestern part of the county “for the pursuit of future economic development opportunities.”
Referred to as “Upper Magnolia,” the land is north of Magnolia Green and near other fast-growing developments such as Foxcreek, Hallsley and Cosby Village.
Just what happens next is up in the air. EDA Director Garrett Hart said in an email that there “are no specific plans for the property at this time.”
But the county hinted in its announcement that commercial and infrastructure development could be in the land’s future.
Chesterfield officials see the land as a key element of the county’s development over the next couple decades. The land straddles the proposed route for an extension of Powhite Parkway to connect it with Hull Street Road, and contains right-of-way required for the proposed road.
With the acquisition, the county will have a firm hand in the land’s development, and the announcement stated that growth would be managed “in ways that are an improvement over the current permissible zoning” and “to create jobs and commercial investment closer to where people live, not just residential homes.”
The land has been zoned for residential use, though it’s currently undeveloped, Garrett said.
“Upper Magnolia represents one of the best opportunities for us to regain control over the current large-scale traditional residential development to plan for better land use options, including creating quality jobs so more of our citizens can locally commute shorter distances,” County Administrator Joe Casey said in the announcement.
The EDA bought the land, which consists of multiple parcels, from New Jersey developer Salvatore Cangiano, who previously owned the property that has since become Magnolia Green. Hart said Cangiano didn’t want to comment on the deal, which closed Dec. 18.
The acquisition accounts for more than half of the $24 million that the county’s Board of Supervisors voted to provide to the EDA for acquisitions on Dec. 16. Earlier this year, the EDA spent $21 million to expand Meadowville Technology Park near Chester by about 350 acres.
The Upper Magnolia land is the latest sizable assemblage that the EDA has focused on in hopes of attracting new development. In 2018, it positioned a 1,675-acre tract southwest of Chester as a so-called industrial megasite. It withdrew that proposal amid local opposition, and the bulk of the site was later approved for a solar farm and data center.