The Cabarrus Economic Development Team - Terry Crawford, interim president & CEO; Samantha Grass, project manager; LeeAnn Nixon, existing industry specialist; and Josh Fernandez, research & marketing assistant – share the latest insight on what’s happening at the EDC.
Cabarrus County projects at a glance
Between site visits, new construction and receiving and responding to dozens of requests for information, there’s been quite a bit of action in Cabarrus County. “There’s just so much activity going on. We are very fortunate and it’s unique that we have such strong private developers that are investing in our community,” Grass said. “We’ve been without product for a long time, but we’ve recently seen a lot of new industrial space coming along.”
Beacon Partners is continuing to develop the RiverOaks Corporate Center that will provide more than 1 million square feet of industrial space. Down the road, The Silverman Group is developing a 136-acre site, Concord Airport Business Park - West, and finishing up a 108,000-square-foot building on Aviation Blvd. Meanwhile, at the International Business Park at Concord, there’s a 50,425-square-foot industrial spec building in the works – an offering that Grass is excited about.
“A lot of our current spec buildings are very large, so this is a sweet spot for us because we get a lot of requests for the 25-to-75,000-square-foot range and we haven’t had a lot of product to offer before,” she said.
Grass added the EDC is also encouraging property owners and developers to consider Class A and flex space for future speculative development. “We have many requests from potential clients who need an existing building because they want to get started tomorrow and a build-to-suit site isn’t going to work for their timeline,” she said. “We have missed opportunities and we’re working towards changing that.”
Team tenacity helps land global leader in packaging materials
A yearlong and statewide effort to bring a $40 million investment to a site near the Town of Midland has resulted in a big win for Cabarrus County. Intertape Polymer Group, a global leader in packaging materials, announced it will create a production facility that will bring 49 new skilled, semi-skilled and general labor jobs to the area. What gave Cabarrus County an Advancing Edge over Blythewood, SC, the other site being considered? Nixon credits the whole package: state and local incentives, proximity to the railway system and a site better suited to fit the company’s needs. Added Crawford, “We were in competition with SC and we finally won one!”
Fam tour showcases sites, sounds and scenes of Cabarrus County
The EDC is hosting its first-ever familiarization tour of Cabarrus County May 19-22. “We’re bringing the site selectors here so they’ll be able to feel and see everything our county has to offer,” Grass said. The tour will highlight the sites, buildings and assets of Cabarrus County, mixed with a little fun, and give Cabarrus County a chance to shine. “We’re treating them to a day at the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race,” she said. “These site selectors travel throughout the year looking at potential locations so we want to provide them an experience different from any other.”
The search is on for a new EDC leader
It’s full steam ahead in the national and local search for a new President & CEO. Crawford, who’s been filling in since December, said he hopes to have someone on board by June. “The hiring committee has been thoughtful and deliberate in determining the skill set we need for a new leader,” he said. “The perfect candidate is a strong leader with an economic background who really understands recruitment. We need somebody who can come in, keep pushing us along and have a solid understanding of the diverse sites and buildings we have to offer.”
Taking a professional step in economic development
Fernandez was awarded a $1,100 scholarship to attend Georgia Tech’s Basic Economic Development Course, a 4-day intensive conference that explores the fundamentals and emerging concepts of comprehensive economic development. The course will focus on innovative community development, regional economics, basic factors in development, techniques of economic development and trends in economic development.