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Business shorts

June 5, 2012 12:10 am

Changes in leadership for local Geico office

One of the Fredericksburg area's largest private employers has a new executive in charge.

Geico has named Nancy Pierce as regional vice president of the insurer's Mid-Atlantic operations, which are based out of a large complex off U.S. 17 in Stafford County. Pierce took over Friday for John Izzo, who is retiring after 38 years with Geico.

Pierce previously served as vice president for Geico's claims home-office operations at the company's headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md. She has worked at the Stafford office before, including a previous stint as regional vice president between 2006 and 2008.

Stafford airport terminal bids now being solicited

The Stafford Regional Airport Authority is now accepting bids from general contractors interested in building the airport's permanent terminal.

The single-level structure will be almost 10,000 square feet and will be located about 300 feet west of the double-wide trailer that now serves as the terminal. Petersburg-based StudioAmmons designed it.

The Stafford County Board of Supervisors recently approved a $1.4 million loan for the project, which is expected to cost between about $3 million and $4 million. The Virginia Department of Aviation is expected to provide the remainder of the costs.

Contractors interested in bidding before July 9 can get the forms by calling Chesterfield-based Talbert & Bright Inc. at 804/768-6878. A pre-bid conference is scheduled for June 12 at the airport.

Airport officials hope to break ground on the project by late fall and have it completed about 10 months later. They expect the terminal to attract corporate users to the airport.

Coldwell Banker Elite moving to new office

Coldwell Banker Elite's Massaponax office will move in less than a month to a nearby building that the firm's owner purchased last week.

An LLC owned by Kevin Breen and his wife bought the two-story office building at 4840 Southpoint Drive for $1.15 million from an entity of W.J. Vakos & Co., which formerly occupied the 7,500-square-foot building. The current Vakos headquarters is nearby.

Coldwell Banker Elite now rents about the same amount of space in a nearby building at 5444 Jefferson Davis Highway. Breen considered purchasing that building, which is also on the market. He said it makes sense to buy rather than rent because of current interest rates.

The Southpoint Drive building is now being painted, and Coldwell Banker Elite's Realtors and other staff will move by July 1.

This past November, Breen and his wife also purchased (for $675,000) the building where Coldwell Banker Elite's office on Bragg Road in Spotsylvania is located. He plans to add about 2,000 square feet to that 4,200-square-foot space.

Breen also owns Coldwell Banker Elite's largest office in Stafford County, and leases the firm's smaller offices in Prince William County and Locust Grove.

Fitness studio in city expanding in building

A personal training studio in downtown Fredericksburg is expanding.

Green Fitness is taking over the main floor of the building at 1122 Caroline St. near the library. Garrett Green currently runs the business out of the building's basement.

The expansion will give Green, a former YMCA personal trainer who started the business about 21/2 years ago, almost 2,000 square feet of space to run the studio. That's about double the current capacity. He has hired two trainers, Chris McAuliff and Pamela Brown, and plans to open in the new space July 2.

Green's mother owns the downtown building, which also includes four apartments on the top floors. His father, Graham Green III, who died in a 2006 plane crash near Stafford Regional Airport, formerly ran Green and Associates Realty there.

Green will add rubber floors in the new space so as not to ruin the century-old hardwood. His business offers an array of appointment-based private and group personal training focusing on core strength, sports conditioning and rehabilitation. Green also coaches tennis.

--Bill Freehling

Columbia Gas adjusts customers' gas costs

Columbia Gas of Virginia customers will see their monthly bills increase slightly in June, compared with the current level, but average bills will remain more than 7 percent lower than in June 2011.

The typical monthly customer bill will be a seasonal monthly amount of $37.16, compared with $40.00 at the same time last summer--a 7.1 percent reduction--but up from the $35.68 average customer bill in May 2012.

This comparison is based on a 23 Ccf seasonal monthly summer usage level. Ccf is the measurement used for natural gas usage and is the equivalent of 100 cubic feet.

"The continued value realized by our customers reflects the abundance of reliable domestically-produced natural gas which is keeping the cost of natural gas at the lowest level in recent years," said Carl Levander, Columbia's president, in a prepared statement.

Columbia's gas costs are typically adjusted on a quarterly basis to reflect the price the company pays for natural gas, which by law is passed on dollar-for-dollar to customers without markup or profit.

--Columbia Gas

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