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Economic Development

Thomas R. Frantz Williams Mullen Headshot
headshot of preston lloyd, williams mullen partner

Businesses considering where to locate new facilities or operations face a barrage of decisions and challenges, ranging from which government incentive programs to pursue to a myriad of immigration, real estate and corporate law matters.

Williams Mullen’s Economic Development Team assists U.S.-based and international companies with relocation and expansion projects. The team includes leaders of several regional and local economic development organizations.

Our multidisciplinary team draws on decades of experience – including our understanding of the inner workings of the executive and legislative branches of federal, state and local governments – to provide seamless and comprehensive government relations and legal services that maximize opportunities for our client’s location decisions.

Working as a team enables us to draw effectively upon Williams Mullen resources in specific areas as needed. We can help with entity formation, incentive programs, state and local tax issues, real estate and land use, construction and development, environmental permitting, domestic and international tax planning, labor, employment and immigration, as well as federal, state and local government relations. While we are known for helping companies locate and grow in the Southeastern United States, we can assist companies in any state and are ready to help you wherever you land.

When retaining counsel for such significant projects, being able to rely on professionals who are intimately familiar with the various incentive programs and the extent such programs can be accessed is extremely valuable. Our team’s extensive experience and connections enable us to maximize incentives packages and allows us to deliver innovative solutions tailored to the unique aspects of each development project, no matter where the location.

In addition to overall project management, our team can assist with:

  • Real estate
  • Corporate law
  • Federal, state and local government relations
  • Financing
  • Land use
  • Labor, employment and immigration
  • Environmental permitting
  • Immigration
  • Intellectual property
  • International tax
  • International trade

With strong capabilities in all of the above areas, the team focuses on projects in the following sectors: advanced manufacturing; warehouse, distribution and logistics; research and development; technology (including information and communications technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, modeling and simulation, virtual reality and cybersecurity); energy power generation (especially renewable power – hydro, land-based and offshore wind, solar, biomass, ethanol, etc.); headquarters; and data centers. We are able to assist companies with related projects throughout the country.

Working alongside state, regional and local economic development agencies, the Williams Mullen Economic Development Team has proven experience providing project innovative solutions to our clients.


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Your company can depend on Williams Mullen for guidance in all of the legal disciplines involved in relocating or expanding a business. Our team members have played instrumental roles in numerous major economic development projects. Among other projects, our team has:

  • Assisted a New York-based manufacturer in locating a facility in North Carolina - $5 million and 73 jobs.
  • Assisted a UK-based manufacturer in locating a sales office in Henrico, Va.
  • Assisted a Canadian-based manufacturer in locating a sales office in Charlottesville, Va.
  • Assisted a Denmark-based manufacturer with its location in Henrico, Va. - $1.35 million investment and ten jobs.
  • Assisted a U.K. advanced manufacturer of pipe-bending machines and systems in locating a facility in Danville, Va. - $5 million in capital investment and 55 jobs.
  • Assisted a debt collection and finance company in expanding its offices in Roanoke, Va. - $4 million in capital investment and 115 new jobs.
  • Assisted an advanced manufacturing research consortium in obtaining a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration and a $9.50 million appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly to construct an advanced manufacturing apprentice academy in central Va.
  • Assisted a bioscience company in expanding its headquarters in Virginia Beach - $12.25 million in capital investment and 321 new jobs.
  • Assisted a Fortune 200 company with the expansion of its North American headquarters in Chesapeake, Va. - $110 million investment and 600 jobs.
  • Assisted a California-based water bottler with its location in Chesterfield County, Va. - $100 million investment and 76 jobs.
  • Assisted a U.K.-based automotive company in its location in Danville, Va. - $2 million investment and 45 jobs.
  • Assisted a Japanese-owned company in locating its advanced manufacturing facility in Danville, Va. Work included negotiation of unique build-to-suit purchase and sale agreement, assistance with oversight of construction, advice regarding consulting agreements with construction management and quality control consultants - $9.5 million investment and 45 jobs.
  • Assisted a Fortune 500 transportation company in locating a $230 million cargo terminal in Rocky Mount, N.C.
  • Assisted a Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer in its acquisition of all of the assets of a German-owned pharmaceutical plant in Petersburg, Va. - $22.5 million investment and 376 jobs.
  • Assisted a Chinese furniture manufacturer in establishing its operations in Smyth County, Va. - a $4.65 million investment and 125 jobs.
  • Assisted one of the largest producers of candles in the world in establishing its U.S. production facility in Pulaski County, Va. - $18.3 million investment and 170 new jobs.
  • Assisted a Virginia County in attracting a major internet retailer which created a one million square foot fulfillment center for expanding operations to Southeastern Va. - $50 million investment and 390 jobs.
  • Assisted an Italian manufacturer in establishing operations in Augusta County, Va.
  • Assisted a U.K. coatings manufacturer in establishing a production facility in Martinsville, Va. - $8 million investment and 45 jobs.
  • Assisted a Brazilian manufacturer in establishing a sales office in Henrico County, Va.
  • Assisted a Chinese biotechnology company in establishing an office and laboratory in Richmond, Va.
  • Assisted a North Carolina county in incentive negotiations that attracted an Indiana-based furniture maker’s manufacturing and distribution center.