Kegerreis Digital Marketing, an integrated marketing and analytics company, will invest $1.7 million and bring 62 jobs to the River District in Danville, Brian Ball, Virginia’s secretary of commerce and trade, announced during an event in the city Wednesday morning.
The company will renovate the 7,000-square-foot former tobacco warehouse at 402 Cabell St. and relocate its headquarters there from Pennsylvania.
The company’s new location will house company executives and serve as the central meeting point for KDM’s widespread workforce.
KDM is a subsidiary of Kegerreis Outdoor Advertising, which was founded in 1979 and is the 10th-largest billboard company in the country. The company has more than 2,500 billboard displays in seven states along the East Coast.
Ball announced the project at the company’s future location during an event attended by state and local officials.
“This is great news for the commonwealth and in particular for the city of Danville,” Ball said during remarks.
Gov. Ralph Northam was scheduled to be at the announcement, but did not attend.
Just before introducing Ball, River District Association chair Kelvin Perry said, “We’re always happy to add another business in our thriving, growing River District.”
Perry also is the project manager for Danville’s economic development office.
Danville Economic Development Director Corrie T. Bobe told the Danville Register & Bee after the event the jobs’ salaries will be well above the average annual salary for the city, which is about $38,000.
“This employer will provide wages, on average, at over $60,000 per year,” Bobe said. “So they’re really elevating the quality of jobs that are available for our local residents.”
KDM President and Chief Information Officer Larz Kegerreis said that with the COVID-19 pandemic, “it opens up the opportunity to really do work from almost anywhere.”
“When we made the decision of where we wanted to locate our headquarters in this division, we wanted to be somewhere where the quality of life is really second to none,” he said during his remarks.
Kegerreis, who has lived in the Danville area since 2013, said, “We have really enjoyed our lives here in Danville.”
The area is the kind of place where the company wants its employees to raise their families, he said.
“We wanted to contribute to this community and to bring jobs here,” Kegerreis said.
Danville Mayor Alonzo Jones called KDM’s announcement “another big day for Danville” and pointed to the company’s story as one of vision and innovation.
“KDM will be a tremendous addition to our growing business community,” Jones said.
The Cabell Street location was one of the Dula buildings that were used by American Tobacco Co. It was built around 1910, Jones said.
Clark Casteel, president and CEO of the Danville Regional Foundation, praised KDM and thanked everyone involved in working to bring them to the region.
“This is a company doing innovative work in an important new sector for our region,” Casteel said.
Wednesday’s announcement is another example illustrating that the community can build a place where people want to be, Casteel added.
State Sen. Frank Ruff, R-Clarksville, was especially excited about the announcement.
“Another beautiful day in Southside Virginia!” he shouted as he approached the podium to make remarks.
He echoed Kegerreis’ statements that the Danville area is a good place to live and raise a family.
“We look forward to a great future for you here,” Ruff told Kegerreis.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with the city of Danville, the Danville Regional Foundation and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia.
Northam approved a $160,500 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help the city of Danville with the project.
The Virginia Tobacco Commission also approved $91,000 from its Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project.
KDM is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone program, which is administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.
Funding and services to support employee recruitment and training will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.