Uptown Greenville, NC


Shovel Ready

County makes newly acquired property “shovel ready,” actively markets it

Karen Eckert
Staff Writer Daily Reflector

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Pitt County is preparing to build on its industrial base.

The county has finalized the purchase of a parcel of land intended to contribute to industrial development and is busy getting it shovel-ready, as well as actively marketing it.

The sale to the county of approximately 127 acres, located at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Highway and Old Creek Road, closed on July 8 at an acquisition price of $3.8 million according to a news release from the Pitt County Office of Public Information.

The purchase of the acreage, formerly known as the Warren Farm, was the result of a decision to acquire the land made in April by the Pitt County Board of Commissioners, according to the news release.

The property at one time was zoned for agricultural use but it has been rezoned for industrial use, said Brad Hufford, associate director of retention and expansion for the Pitt County Development Commission, in a telephone interview.

The site is “tremendous” because it’s in an industrial area and fits in with neighboring industries, such as Hyster-Yale and Grady White Boats,” Hufford said. It abuts Indigreen Corporate Park, it’s in a great area with frontage on the U.S. 264 Bypass and visibility is very good.

There was interest in the Warren Farm property even before the county acquired it, he said.

“It’s in a very good location,” Hufford said.

Now that it has been acquired, the development commission has begun actively pursuing site certification, a program administered by N.C. Commerce, and also will pursue the Smart Sites designation provided by ElectriCities,” according to the news release.

Certifications provide a a stamp of approval that a location has undergone some due diligence, for example with soil analysis and wetland delineation, Hufford said. It shows industry site selectors that the land is shovel-ready.

“We are doing some other additional site preparation, like removing an old farm site home,” he said.

There is a tentative plan in place for roads, water and sewer. Part of that plan will depend on additional grant funds received once a definite project is committed for the site, Hufford said.

Currently the acreage is one large parcel, but it will be subdivided as needed for the client, he said.

In addition to acquiring the property and preparing it for use, the county is working to market it as widely as possible, according to the news release.

Digital flyers, aerial photography and videography are being used to showcase the property and a new “for sale” sign has been placed on the property, prominently displayed at the U.S. 264 Bypass, “further highlighting the prime location of the land,” according to the release.

Hufford said that the property is also listed on searchable databases, not only for the county but for the state, so it can be seen by industrial companies and the site selecting consultants who assist businesses in choosing locations for expansion.

The county is open to any types of industry, such as manufacturing or warehouse distribution, wanting to locate on the site, Hufford said.

If a company is investing and creating jobs in Pitt County, they are welcome, he said. However, because of zoning ordinances the site is not for commercial retail.

“This property, in addition to the industrial shell building that the county built in Indigreen Corporate Park in 2017, provides two attractive options for locating or expanding industries. The PCDC has indicated brisk prospect activity throughout the summer months,” according to the news release.

“It’s very important for us to have available sites and buildings (so) that we can easily respond to inquiries from industries and site selectors,” Hufford said.

To learn more about the Pitt County Development Commission and its work to expand industry in Pitt County, visit www.LocateInCarolina.com.

Other information is available at https://www.nccommerce.com/business/site-search-location-data/north-carolina-certified-sites and https://www.electricities.com/services/economic-development/smart-sites.