VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A big change will bring more than 1,100 jobs to Hampton Roads and transform a Virginia Beach golf course into a manufacturing plant.
Governor Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday morning that Global Technical Systems will invest $54.7 million to build its new facility at the old Owl's Creek Golf Center in Seatack. The company provides "engineering solutions for defense, homeland security and related U.S. government and international customers."
Governor McAuliffe says the project will create 1,110 new jobs with an average annual salary of $74,000.
The state is giving Virginia Beach a $1.8 million grant to help with the project.
City council unanimously voted in favor of rezoning the golf course to build the plant.
Mayor Will Sessoms abstained from the voting.
Most who came to speak to council on Tuesday were strongly against the plant. They were concerned about traffic, noise, environmental impacts, and property value.
Opponents of the project harshley criticized council, accusing them of fast-tracking the project and having a lack of transparency about the plant.
"I'm very concerned that you haven't adequately informed the citizens, many who are here and many who signed the petition very recently, because they just learned about this," one resident said.
An online petition against the project gathered 800 signatures. Dozens of residents who live across the street are calling for a more peaceful development.
"There are bus stops at every street, so I'm wondering how that's gonna hamper traffic, with tractor-trailers going in and out. I have no idea what kind of impact that's going to have," resident Cheryl Walsh said.
The company sent 13News Now a mock-up of what the battery they are building inside the plant could look like. Right now, there are no pictures because it's in the prototype phase.
If approved, the new plant could be up and running by 2019.