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Economic Development in Anson County Just Took a Huge Step Forward

Yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed the North Carolina budget into law. This was important for every resident of the state, as we have been operating without a budget since 2018. Teachers and government employees will receive much-needed raises, the personal income tax rate will drop, and a slew of necessary infrastructure projects will finally be funded. A strong argument can be made, however, that no county benefitted more, in relative terms, from the signing of this budget than Anson. 

As noted in our post last week, AnsonEDP worked with Representative Brody and Senator McInnis to include two critical line items in the budget. One provides $4 million toward the construction of a sewer line extension connecting the new Atlantic Gateway Logistics Park to the existing pump station at Hailey's Ferry Road and making upgrades to that station to handle the increased flow. This sewer line, which we anticipate will be finished by the end of 2022, will allow for a more diverse mix of tenants in the park and will open up thousands of additional acres in the eastern part of the county for development. The timing is good because the new I-73/74 interchange at Cordova is expected to open about that same time. From the Atlantic Gateway, companies will have immediate access to north-south and east-west highways, as well as easy highway access to both the Port of Wilmington and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

The second line item is an $8 million revolving loan fund for the construction of speculative industrial buildings in the county. While any money used from this fund will need to be paid back in full, it is interest-free and does not need to be repaid for ten years. This will allow us to build at least two, possibly three, modern industrial buildings over the next decade. The lack of building inventory is a major issue in Anson County. Over the past five years, quality industrial buildings that have come on the market in the county have sold at or near the asking price in 18 months or less. We expect a similar performance from the spec buildings, creating hundreds of new jobs and tens of millions of dollars in new capital investment. 

We expect to break ground on the first building, which will be located at the Wadesboro Industrial Park, in  2Q 2022. It will be a 50,000 square foot building with 28' ceilings, expandable to 100,000 square feet on the pad. Construction should be finished in late 2022 or early 2023 and we project the building will sell by mid-2024. Upon sale of that building, we will begin construction of the second speculative building, this one at Atlantic Gateway. This will be a larger building with higher ceilings, suitable for warehouse and logistics operations. We haven't worked out the exact configuration yet, but we believe it will be a 100,000 to 150,000 square foot building with 30' ceilings. 

These are not dreams. These are not pie-in-the-sky ideas. These are real projects with real funding. They are going to happen, just as they are happening now in Gastonia and Lincolnton and Rock Hill and Rockingham. This is a new day for Anson County. 

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