Irons or Woods?

Virginia Beach golf course set for manufacturing facility

The subject of much community debate, a Virginia Beach area manufacturer of electromechanical batteries and military components is slated to build a new facility on a former golf course.

Global Technical Systems, a Virginia Beach-based provider of advanced engineering solutions for the defense and homeland security industries, plans to build a $54.7 million, 500,000-square-foot manufacturing center that would create 1,100 jobs. The building will be located on about 30 acres of land currently owned by the city of Virginia Beach, at the site of the former Owl’s Creek Golf Course. A community vote on rezoning the property Tuesday fell in favor of the project. Opposition would have the area repurposed as a park or nature area, the Virginian-Pilot reported. Neighbors voiced concerns about noise level and traffic, in addition to wanting to preserve the land.

However, the draw of over a thousand new jobs to the area won out.

In announcing the project Tuesday, Gov. Terry McAuliffe described the expansion by GTS, which has operated in Virginia Beach for 20 years, “transformational” for the city and the region. “GTS models how traditional defense-oriented businesses can step out of their comfort zones and create new technologies with commercial applications that can truly change the world. We are proud to have GTS on the Commonwealth’s corporate roster.”

GTS plans to build an electromechanical “energy storage system operation.” It would produce and distribute 100 percent green energy storage systems using advanced composites and engineering technologies. According to the governor, Virginia Beach competed against Florida, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Washington, D.C., for the project, which will create jobs with an average annual salary of $74,000.

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