Industrial parks are quickly filling up according to the Danville Economic Development office. A recent purchase of land is causing controversy among preservationists and developers.
At first glance, it's like any other land the Danville Industrial Development Authority, or IDA, has purchased; mainly flat and easily accessible.
This land however is frozen in time; foundations to a home, a separate kitchen, outbuildings and a cemetery all dating back to the 1700's.
Part of Danville's history frozen in time.
"We purposely bought it with the facts that we knew there was some type of burial ground on the site after the study we did," Stratton said.
After nine months of study, archaeologists believe this could be the final resting place of up to 100 slaves who belonged to the plantation's owner, Thomas Fearn.
Moving those graves to another cemetery in Danville is the only way this land can be developed.
"We're also trying to get a permit from the Department of Historic Resources in Richmond to go ahead with the removal of remains once we find out the full story," Stratton said.
But representatives from Preservation Virginia believe the plantation shouldn't be touched.
"Instead of creating new industrial parks and eating up the farm land, it seems that we could reuse a lot of our buildings whether they are historic or buildings that have been built recently," said Sonja Ingram.
Ingram believes the land should rather be a heritage park.
It could take up to an additional eight months to move the entire graveyard and up to three years to develop.