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Wythe Will Distributing Expanding to Stonehouse Commerce Park


Date: August 15, 2003
Contact: Keith A. Taylor, James City County Office of Economic Development, (757) 253-6607
Gordon Angles, Wythe Will Distributing, (757) 565-0351, ext.102


James City County, its Industrial Development Authority (IDA), and Wythe Will Distributing Company are pleased to announce that Wythe Will, is acquiring the use of 15 acres in Stonehouse Commerce Park to build a new 105,000 square-foot wholesale distribution facility. The move represents a significant expansion for this candy and specialty foods distributor, which was founded in James City County in 1976. Wythe Will will be making an initial investment of $5.5 million in two contiguous sites and the construction and equipping of the facility, where it will employ approximately 55 people. Occupancy is targeted for Spring of 2004.


"We were acquired last year by the Hunt Private Equity Group, based in Dallas, as a growing business investment", according to Gordon Angles, Wythe Will's President and founder. "Our new owners challenged us to look both in our own back yard and elsewhere for the best place to satisfy our projected growth. After considerable location research and due diligence by our expanded management team, and with the professional assistance of James City County, we concluded that the Stonehouse Commerce Park setting makes the most sense for us."


County officials tout its industry retention program as a significant factor in the Wythe Will decision. This program includes regular visits to the County's larger industrial employers, periodic business briefings, and special events throughout the year to recognize the importance of such companies to the community's economic well-being.


"Economic Development 101", said Jim Kennedy, James City County Board of Supervisors representative from the Stonehouse District in which the commerce park is located. "You have to pay attention to the firms you have and do what you can to keep them here and growing. We feel we are doing that with Wythe Will and will continue to assist them through their design and construction phase by making them eligible for the County's expedited review process."


County Administrator Sandy Wanner welcomed the Wythe Will expansion news. "Our Economic Development Director Keith Taylor and I took Mr. Angle's growth challenge quite seriously when he first brought it up at an existing industry visit over a year ago. You must always assume you're competing for opportunities such as this and must never take them for granted", remarked Wanner. "Our Economic Development Office and IDA worked tirelessly on this project to both compete and prevail."


Stonehouse Commerce Park is a 220-acre light industrial park, and part of the 7,300-acre Stonehouse mixed use development. Other park occupants include Design Master Associates, a museum gift shop items creator, and medical procedure kits manufacturer AVID Medical, which is currently doubling its facility to 90,000 square feet there.


Dawn Griggs and Bobby Phillips with the commercial real estate firm of Thalhimer Cushman &; Wakefield represented Wythe Will in the transaction with Stonehouse.


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