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Seal of the Governor
For Immediate Release: May 18, 2021
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov | indieDwell: Chris Blanchard, cblanchard@indiedwell.com | Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority: Karen Wilds, kwilds@nnrha.org | Virginia Housing: Brian Matt, Brian.Matt@virginiahousing.com

Governor Northam Announces Modular Housing Manufacturer to Create 220 New Jobs in Newport News

indieDwell will invest over $2 million to establish first East Coast operation

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today announced that indieDwell, an industry leader in the steel modular housing manufacturing sector, will invest over $2 million to establish its first East Coast manufacturing facility in the City of Newport News. The new manufacturing facility and related administrative offices will occupy a portion of 520 21st Street in Newport News. Virginia successfully competed with other states for the project, which will create 220 jobs when fully operational. 

“The affordable housing deficit in Virginia and across our country has deepened amid the pandemic and indieDwell’s innovative modular units are an important part of the solution,” said Governor Northam. “We are proud to welcome this mission-driven company to the Commonwealth and look forward to collaborating with indieDwell and the many local partners involved in this project to build strong, resilient, and sustainable communities.”

Founded in 2018, indieDwell is a Public Benefit Corporation and a Certified B Corporation with a mission to manufacture healthy, durable, energy efficient, sustainable modular housing to help solve the affordable housing crisis. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in Caldwell, Idaho and Pueblo, Colorado, and is actively expanding to other states. indieDwell is committed to paying a living wage with benefits coupled with profit sharing and ownership for all employees.     

“Quality affordable housing is so important to the well-being of individuals and communities, and so we are thrilled to have an innovative company like indieDwell create good jobs and strengthen our affordable housing network in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball. “We thank indieDwell for its investment and for creating 220 new jobs in Newport News.”

“We selected Newport News for our expansion after considering a number of locational advantages,” said Pete Gombert, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of indieDwell. “Our Newport News facility is strategically located in the Mid-Atlantic region with access to the interstate highway system, and, most importantly, a strong workforce. Workforce development is one of indieDwell’s guiding principles, and our sincere desire to work with the Southeast Community neighborhood to create new jobs and construction trade training was a driving force behind our decision to select Newport News.”

Virginia Housing worked with the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the City of Newport News to secure the project for the Commonwealth. Virginia Housing approved a grant of up to $500,000 from its internally generated REACH Virginia funds, with the award amount based upon the number of jobs created. The company is also eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

“With the incredible shortage of affordable housing, we are more than pleased to partner with innovative companies like indieDwell to address this issue,” said Shekar Narasimhan, Chairman of the Board of Virginia Housing. “When fully operational, the indieDwell manufacturing facility is expected to produce at least 300 new homeownership and rental units per year, a significant step forward in opening new quality, energy efficient, workforce housing opportunities.”

“We are very pleased to utilize our property in the heart of the Choice Neighborhood Area for this project, which will bring good jobs to community residents,” said Ken Penrose, Chairman of the Board of Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

“The relationship between Virginia Housing, the Newport News Economic Development Authority, and the Newport News Redevelopment and Housing Authority is the perfect example of how collaboration and innovative thinking can attract companies like indieDwell to Virginia,” said Newport News Mayor McKinley L. Price, DDS. “This new facility will provide meaningful work and training to help citizens embark upon new careers in construction and the trades. Newport News is honored to play an important part in indieDwell’s growth and success, and we look forward to helping them manufacture quality products that help people experience the pride of homeownership. This project reflects the core values of our city and the vision for transformation in the Southeast Community.”

“This project is an exciting new chapter of our story as the City of Newport News seeks to create more opportunities for training and employment in the construction trades,” said Senator Mamie Locke. “indieDwell’s commitment to hire from the surrounding community speaks to the importance of economic development being accomplished with a heart for the communities we serve.” 

“This project could not come at a better time as we work toward long-term recovery from COVID-19,” said Senator Monty Mason. “Diversification of our economy has always been a goal, but it is even more critical now.  This is a win for Newport News and the entire Peninsula, and I am grateful for the work done by the City of Newport News and Virginia Housing to bring indieDwell to our area.”

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