Duke Energy helps communities across North Carolina prepare sites to bring local investment, jobs

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  • Site Readiness Program has triggered 6,500 new jobs, nearly $7.5 billion in capital investment in North Carolina since 2005.

  • Each site eligible for $10,000 in matching grants from Duke Energy to help recruitment efforts.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy has selected nine properties in eight counties across North Carolina for inclusion in its 2021 Site Readiness Program to enhance the readiness of the sites for business and industrial development. The properties are:

  • Catawba County – Hunsucker Crossing
  • Durham County – Eno Venture Park
  • Guilford County – Brittway II Industrial Site
  • Harnett County – Byrd Site
  • Henderson County – Hudgens Site
  • Jones-Craven County – Weyerhaeuser Property
  • Randolph County – Wall Brothers Property
  • Rowan County – Mid-South Industrial Park Building
  • Rowan County – NC Finishing Site

Through the Site Readiness Program, Duke Energy identifies high-potential sites and partners with county officials and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for getting the sites fully ready to market to industrial projects. In North Carolina alone, Duke Energy has helped prepare 136 properties that have won 35 major projects since the program started in 2005, drawing more than 6,500 new jobs and nearly $7.5 billion in capital investment to the state.

“Despite the challenging environment through the pandemic, Duke Energy remained fully committed to economic development and our Site Readiness Program,” said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy’s vice president of economic development and business recruitment. “We are seeing a significant increase in project activity across the Carolinas, and demand for qualified industrial sites has never been stronger. Our team will continue to work with local and regional partners to aggressively advance the readiness of our prime industrial sites.”  

North Carolina has been adding jobs at a remarkable clip in 2021. Hardly a week goes by without the N.C. Department of Commerce heralding one or more new arrivals to the state, with Duke Energy playing a supporting role in many of the economic development wins.

Inside each site

Duke Energy worked with major site selection firms to evaluate the sites, including Global Location Strategies, Site Selection Group and Strategic Development Group. Based on consultant recommendations, Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop an improved strategy for marketing these sites. Additionally, each site is eligible to apply for a $10,000 matching grant from Duke Energy to help prepare it to attract projects.

After each site’s state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy’s business recruitment team strategically markets each of them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Catawba County – Hunsucker Crossing

The 314-acre Hunsucker Crossing property is strategically located in “Charlotte’s Great Northwest,” fronting I-40 between the I-77, I-85 and U.S. 321 corridors. Respected for its manufacturing excellence, Catawba County is seeing rapidly increasing residential growth from Charlotte and provides easy access in one hour or less to the entertainment and sports scenes of the Queen City and the wealth of recreational opportunities available in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hunsucker Crossing is supported by unique workforce training programs and world-renowned manufacturing support organizations. Combining a strong site location with robust workforce assets, proven manufacturing expertise and burgeoning residential growth, Hunsucker Crossing is well-positioned to house the next generation of advanced manufacturers and continue the rich manufacturing heritage of the area.

“As we’ve often said, a successful car lot has many different choices for the prospective buyer – and the Hunsucker Crossing sites could fill that mix of larger footprint opportunities the I-40 corridor is lacking to serve Charlotte’s Great Northwest region at this Conover site.” – Scott Millar, president, Catawba County Economic Development Corporation

Durham County – Eno Venture Park

The 160-acre Eno Venture Park in Durham is a tremendous site well-suited to life science and advanced manufacturing. Located in the heart of the Research Triangle region, the site has the necessary infrastructure to serve most industrial customers.

“The Research Triangle region is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, and planning for the future is a top priority for us in Durham County. The Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce appreciates our partnership with Duke Energy as we work together to develop next-generation industrial sites that can provide more quality job opportunities to our community. We are thankful for the services made available to us through the Site Readiness Program, and we look forward to working with Duke Energy to market Durham County’s industrial development opportunities to the global business community.” – Ryan Regan, vice president of economic development, Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce

Guilford County – Brittway II Industrial Site

About 10 minutes south of downtown Greensboro, this site is strategically located on the north side of I-85/I-40 at the south Elm Eugene interchange and has more than a half-mile of interstate frontage with rail on-site. The 115-acre site offers a remarkable industrial opportunity in the most attractive city in the Triad. Significant electrical power, natural gas, rail service and water are just a few of this property’s premier assets. This site sits in a manufacturing labor pool ranked in the top 10 in the Southeast and second in North Carolina, with a labor shed of over 831,000 and connectivity from more than six major interstates serving the community.

“Economic development in the Southeast is intense, but it becomes an arms race when you add in the entire U.S. Without a shovel-ready site, communities are often left out of the competition before it even starts. That’s why having a partner like Duke Energy is so vital. Through the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program, communities can leverage the chance to have a site fully vetted and ready to go for the next opportunity. We are honored to have been selected to participate and thankful to have a trusted ally like Duke Energy.” – Marvin Price, executive vice president of economic development, Greensboro Chamber of Commerce

Harnett County – Byrd Site

The 257-acre Byrd Site in Lillington is strategically located in the Research Triangle region with easy access to Raleigh, Durham and Fayetteville. The site is a 20-minute drive to I-95 and 30 minutes to I-40 via four-lane U.S. 401, or 20 minutes to I-295, which accesses I-95 to the south. The site is served by Norfolk Southern Railway. Electricity provided by Duke Energy and gas provided by Piedmont Natural Gas are available at the site and capable of accommodating large and small manufacturing operations.

“The Town of Lillington is very appreciative for being given the opportunity to participate in the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program. The significance of the town’s participation in this program has been immense in addition to being extremely helpful in our efforts to expand our inventory of available industrial properties.” – Joseph Jeffries, town manager, Town of Lillington

Henderson County – Hudgens Site

The 107-acre Hudgens site, located 10 minutes outside the City of Hendersonville in Henderson County, offers unique development opportunities in western North Carolina. “The Field” consists of 62 remarkably flat acres, while “The Pines” is 45 acres with a gentle slope. Both are less than a mile from the I-26 Upward Road exit. I-40 and I-85 are within a 35-minute drive, positioning the property within a day’s drive-time from all major markets along the Eastern Seaboard. The property is served by robust, industrial-quality utilities. Henderson County is the employment destination of western North Carolina, with a rich legacy of manufacturing supported by a regional 11-county labor shed, innovative workforce development partnerships and an unparalleled quality of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

“The Duke Energy Site Readiness Program allowed us to view property from the client’s point of view. The attention to detail of the team helped us realize the opportunities of the site and better prepare for industrial development. This allows us to work with the landowner to move their site to a more ready state and improve the overall competitiveness of Henderson County.” – Brittany Brady, president and CEO, Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development

Jones-Craven County – Weyerhaeuser Property

Located less than 5 miles from I-42, along U.S. 17 and within three hours of three Atlantic coast ports, the potential Jones-Craven industrial park offers a phenomenal industrial opportunity that is one of the most attractive manufacturing properties in eastern North Carolina. Totaling more than 1,300 acres, the site is located near Camp Lejeune, Cherry Point Air Station and iconic manufacturers such as Hatteras Yachts, BSH, Moen and Electrolux. The site is served by both an electrical and natural gas transmission line.

“The value of Craven County’s participation in the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program has given us the tools to be responsive to those making investments into the county. We cannot thank Duke Energy enough for this opportunity and their partnership in economic development.” – Jeff Wood, economic development director, Craven County

Randolph County – Wall Brothers Property

The future 170-acre industrial park located on Wall Brothers Road in Sophia, just north of Asheboro, is a critical component of Randolph County’s industrial growth plan. Strategically located just off I-74, a connector to I-85 within 15 miles, this site is easily accessible to major markets. Substantial on-site utilities include power, natural gas and water, and planning is underway and funds have been identified to extend sewer to the site. With a flexible layout, this park can accommodate manufacturing and/or distribution buildings ranging in size from 50,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet.

“Being selected for the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program could not have come at a better time for Randolph County because the demand for readily available sites is more prevalent now than ever before. As Randolph County prepares to expand its inventory of viable industrial sites, the program provided the constructive guidance needed to move the development of our site forward with confidence. We are thankful to have been selected for this program and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our community.” – Crystal Gettys, business recruitment director, Randolph County Economic Development Corporation

Rowan County – Mid-South Industrial Park Building

Located in Rowan County, the Mid-South Industrial Park Building offers more than 1 million square feet of manufacturing and distribution space on 537 acres, with ideal positioning on U.S. 70 in the Charlotte metro region. The building features 30-foot ceilings, rail access provided by Norfolk Southern, a 2.3-MGD wastewater treatment plant and 97 MW electric availability from an on-site substation. Available for sale or lease, the Mid-South Industrial building is located within 14 miles of three interstates (I-40, I-85, I-77).

Rowan County – Former NC Finishing Company Site

Located 35 minutes north of Charlotte, the former NC Finishing Company site in Spencer offers a promising redevelopment opportunity with quick access to I-85. The 176-acre site is bisected by U.S. 29, U.S. 70 and Norfolk Southern’s main line. The 51-acre northern portion has frontage along the Yadkin River and is suitable for a variety of industrial, commercial and residential options. Located in an opportunity zone, the 125-acre southern portion provides approximately 3,600 feet of rail frontage and is zoned for heavy industrial uses. There is also an active state permit allowing withdrawal from and discharge into the Yadkin River.

“We would like to thank Duke Energy for recognizing the economic development potential of both these sites and Rowan County. Their Site Readiness Program offers a tremendous benefit to communities and we look forward to participating yet again in 2022.” – Scott Shelton, vice president, Rowan EDC

Economic impact

For more than 100 years, Duke Energy has powered North Carolina and its economy through significant business recruitment and retention programs.

Duke Energy’s economic development efforts are perennially recognized by Site Selection magazine in the publication’s annual list of “Top Utilities in Economic Development.” Through these efforts, Duke Energy helped attract $6 billion in capital investment in North Carolina that produced 8,000 jobs for the state in 2020.

Here is a behind-the-scenes window into one of those wins: A new home for Nestlé Purina in North Carolina | Duke Energy | illumination (duke-energy.com)

The company’s economic impact in its home state in 2020 extended far beyond job recruitment, including:

  • $200 million in property taxes in 2020
  • $1.37 billion spent with North Carolina suppliers
  • Duke Energy donated $20 million across North Carolina in 2020
  • Duke Energy’s 16,000 employees and 25,000 retirees/alumni living in North Carolina contributed $5.2 million to local and state nonprofits through volunteer hours and financial donations.

Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 7.9 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 51,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 27,500 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy strategy to create a smarter energy future for its customers and communities – with goals of at least a 50 percent carbon reduction by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The company is a top U.S. renewable energy provider, on track to own or purchase 16,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2025. The company also is investing in major electric grid upgrades and expanded battery storage and exploring zero-emitting power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2021 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

Media contact: Bill Norton