Stihl Inc. announced that it will almost double the size of its Virginia Beach footprint with the purchase of the former Lillian Vernon property.

The 62-acre property, vacant for some time, is located at 2600 London Bridge Blvd. and includes an 850,000-square-foot building. Stihl indicated that the purchase of the property was part of its overall strategic plan for growth and that it had no immediate plans for its use.

“We have enjoyed several years of record growth in sales and market share and are reaching capacities in our warehouse and manufacturing facilities,” said Peter Mueller, executive vice president for operations. “We were very fortunate that a solution existed so close. The amount of building space, adjacency to our guide bar plant property, and proximity to our existing warehouse across the street all made this property most attractive.” Mueller indicated that the characteristics of this property fit well with the company’s focus on vertical integration and that the property could be used for manufacturing, warehousing or a mixture. Sub leasing parts of the building is also an option.

Stihl currently has over one million square feet of manufacturing and warehousing on 90 acres of land in Virginia Beach. This purchase expands the company’s presence to over 150 acres. “The economy is showing signs of recovery with manufacturing and small business taking the lead,” Mueller added. “This is a strategic purchase and part of our long-range planning for the strength and viability of the company. Our immediate focus is on completing our present expansion and the jobs it will create.” Stihl is presently building a 53,000-square-foot expansion to its existing manufacturing facility and plans to add 52 new jobs over the next three years.