Friday, May 24, 2013

How plans for a Davidson industrial megapark have evolved

Steve Googe, executive director of the Davidson County Economic Development Commission, looks out over the I-85 Corridor Park in Davidson County.
The effort to develop and market a large industrial site in Davidson County has seen its share of ups and downs, successes and frustrations.
The property has gone from being the darling of state economic developers to a near afterthought and back again. Now, as the county at last moves forward with developing the first phase of a 1,100-acre site near Linwood, it still could be the Triad’s best hope for luring major industrial employers.
In today’s print edition of The Business Journal, I chronicle the history of the Davidson County site, starting in 2005 when county officials were approached byDuke Energy Corp. and asked to participate in a site-identification study, up through last week, when the Davidson County Board of Commissioners approved the first phase of the site’s development as an industrial park.
The story makes use of both interviews as well as documents obtained by The Business Journal from the N.C. Department of Commerce. Those documents were submitted late last year by economic development officials in response to a request for proposal for a share of $5 million in state funding for land acquisition.