6-8-2021- Industrial park could make room for growth

Posted on: June 8th, 2021 by admin


June 8, 2021



By Kara Fohner kfohner@newstopicnews.com


A new industrial park county officials hope to begin would be the first of its kind in decades, filling a void by providing a site for projects that the county currently does not have the property to accommodate, a county leader said.


The development of the property, around 30 acres near Nuway Circle in Lenoir, is particularly significant to the county’s industrial growth, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Economic Development Commission.


Currently, she said, “there are a lot of requests for great projects that we can’t respond to because we don’t have the place, and this would give us one more place.”


The only industrial park in the county, on Industrial Court in southwestern Lenoir, was established by the city of Lenoir in the 1980s, Murray said.


“This is a first for the county,” Murray said.


The site the county is considering has readily available infrastructure and is close to U.S. 321, Murray said.


The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners recently voted to pay $374,000 to purchase the property, but before that can happen engineers must assess the property to determine what kind of facility could be placed there.


While the county once had many empty buildings that could be repurposed to suit new or expanding companies, there is little left today that could be readily used, Murray said. That has blunted one of the county’s most frequently used recruitment tools, building reuse grants from the N.C. Department of Commerce to help companies renovate existing buildings.


“Unfortunately, when you are out of old buildings to repurpose, a building reuse grant can’t help you if you don’t have a building. So what we’ve got to do is create the opportunity where a company can come in and see themselves building their own building in our county,” Murray said.


The county will not construct buildings, but the property is intended to be “shovel-ready” for a company to build there.


“A number of the companies that we have in our county have looked for additional space because they’ve maxed out where they are, and so one of our first options would be to make certain that our existing companies know what would be available there so that their own expansions could be local,” she said.


Reporter Kara Fohner can be reached at 828-610-8721.

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