Project plans: State effort spurs rural growth by promoting spec buildings

1 Mar 2024


“Build it and they will come” is more than a slogan for seven low-wealth counties in North Carolina.

The state budget included $10 million to jump-start the process of adding buildings in those counties that would be available for new or expanding businesses. Normally, developers work with companies to establish a structure for manufacturing or distribution that is privately owned.

Under the state’s new program, counties are incentivized to add publicly owned structures ahead of commitments by businesses. State lawmakers authorized the Rocky Mount-based Golden Leaf Foundation to administer the program as part of the 2023-24 state budget. It should “increase the number of available, publicly owned industrial buildings suitable for new or expanding businesses, other than retail, entertainment or sports projects,” according to a foundation release.

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