Two International Companies Receive Grants: Germany’s STIHL, Inc. and Chinese Manufacturer U-Play Corporation

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

​The Virginia Beach Development Authority on Tuesday awarded two international companies with APZ-1 Economic Development Investment Program grants which will aid the companies in establishing or expanding manufacturing operations in Virginia Beach. Both companies are located within the YesOceana footprint and conform to compatible business usage in the area. 

Long-time Virginia Beach-based STIHL, Inc., headquartered in Waiblingen, Germany, was awarded a grant in the amount of $110,000 as a result of its planned capital investments in The International Industrial Center (formerly Lillian Vernon). Improvements to the facility will serve to attract new businesses to Virginia Beach and further stimulate the creation of jobs in the city. STIHL Inc., manufacturer of the nation's number one selling brand of gasoline powered handheld outdoor power equipment*, announced plans to invest more than $2.7 million dollars in capital improvements to The International Industrial Center at 2600 International Parkway in Virginia Beach. The company has owned the 871,000-square-foot facility since 2012. It plans to make significant improvements over the next 48 months to expand its own operations as well as attract new tenants. 

"There is intense competition to attract and retain quality companies like STIHL, Inc., and now, U-Play Corporation," said Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris. "Growing the manufacturing footprint in Virginia Beach is a crucial part of our overall economic growth strategy, and we have been successful because of our favorable business environment, no machinery and tools tax for manufacturers, a highly skilled workforce and proximity to the Port of Virginia. We are delighted to see STIHL's achievements and look forward to having U-Play as a part of our corporate community," he added.

U-Play Corporation, headquartered in China's Anhui Province, will open its first North American manufacturing operation in Virginia Beach. It was awarded a $125,000 grant for phase I, based on the company's capital investment of $4.9 million in real estate, business property and machinery and tools within the first three years of operation. Initially, U-Play Corporation will lease 200,000 square feet of space at 1440 London Bridge Road for the manufacturing of its disposable sanitary products such as adult incontinence products, wet wipes and puppy training pads. Founded in 2006, the publicly held company employs a workforce of 310, and its products are exported to 40 countries. 

"Virginia Beach is a fantastic place for our business because of its strategic location, well-trained workforce and business-friendly environment," said Hancy Cheng, U-Play Corporation's CEO. "We want to put together all these advantages to create a manufacturing hub for our company to better serve our customers in the U.S."

More than 20 overseas companies now operate their U.S. or North American headquarters in the City of Virginia Beach, and are among the nearly 200 overseas businesses with a significant presence in the Hampton Roads MSA. 

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