Industrial Mega-Site Proposed
A proposed industrial mega-site will be introduced to the Moore County Board of Commis-sioners at a Monday meeting.
The 3,000-acre tract sprawls into an undeveloped area west of Robbins in both Moore and Montgomery counties.
Ray Ogden, executive director of Moore County Partners in Progress, will make the presentation during the board's regular 6 p.m. meeting at the historic courthouse in Carthage.
If approved by all parties, the project will be conducted in collaboration with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. and the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Ogden was unavailable for comment Friday. Partners in Progress is the economic development nonprofit serving Moore County.
The project requires no financing by the county at this time, and unidentified primary landowners have indicated willingness to provide seed funds to move the project along, according to a memorandum from Ogden to the commissioners.
Preliminary estimates show that about $540,000 in seed money may be needed to cover design costs for a master site plan and the state certification process, legal services and long-term marketing costs.
At the Monday night meeting, Ogden will ask the commissioners to endorse the concept of what he calls the "Center of North Carolina" joint mega-site project. The board will also be asked to sign a resolution supporting the project.
The economic development agencies in both counties have identified about 3,000 contiguous undeveloped acres that meet the North Carolina Department of Commerce's criteria for an industrial mega-site, according to Ogden's agenda memorandum to the commissioners. He said the acreage lies outside municipal jurisdiction and is "roughly bound" by Spies Road and N.C. 24-27, about a mile and a half from U.S. 220.
Ogden says the site is located almost exactly in the state's geographic center, thus the name "Center of North Carolina."
Department of Com-merce officials have "expressed interest in this project because a mega-site of this magnitude and caliber would enhance North Carolina's competitiveness in economic development," Ogden said in his memo.
The site is described as advantageous because of its central location and the amenities offered in the area. Among the amenities are proximity to airports and on-site rail service.
Ogden points out that the site would further benefit Moore County because of the state economic development designation of Montgomery County as "more economically disadvantaged" by comparison with other counties. Montgomery County has a Tier 1 designation, which means that it is eligible for economic development financial assistance at a level much higher than that of Moore County.
However, the Tier 1 status would apply to the entire site because about half of the site is in Montgomery County.
"This status affords more substantial state financial incentives for eligible companies locating in the mega-site park," Ogden said in the memo.
If the site is established as a green and sustainable industrial park, Ogden said that it will facilitate targeted marketing efforts in recruiting new and expanding companies.
Ogden said in the memo that endorsement will not specify or imply any financial commitment or other liability on the part of Moore County.
Instead, he adds that the proposed park offers the potential to create "new, quality jobs, taxable capital investment and other significant economic opportunities."
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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