It was just last fall when local government officials and others gathered at the Industrial Park outside Henderson to break ground on construction of a shell building.
Today, that building is ready to be upfitted to suit a potential buyer’s needs. County Commissioner Tommy Hester said the building is under contract to a manufacturing firm, but the company isn’t ready to make a public announcement just yet.
Hester, who chairs the Industrial Park Board, said construction went smoothly since that chilly November groundbreaking.
The idea was simple: Put up a building and have everything in place for a manufacturer or other commercial entity to come in and finish out the space to suit its particular needs.
As for this shell building, Hester said the new owner will probably still have to put in another $1 million or more to complete the building.
“You don’t want to finish it because you don’t know what upgrades they’ll want,” Hester said on Tuesday’s TownTalk. “You try to hit all of the major things that you think they’ll need,” he added. The building has a layer of gravel and a vapor barrier, as well as cargo doors and it’s expandable to 97,000 square feet.
“You’ve just got to have flexibility,” Hester said, to accommodate a variety of prospective buyers.
Hester said he predicted this building would be sold before it could be completed, and that’s just what has happened.
“I think we can do it again,” he said.
The county purchased the land for the park for $1.6 million. Add the infrastructure – with grants and from the state and federal departments of Commerce to offset costs – and the park has roads and water and sewer services. The road should be completed in December, Hester said.
The county made an investment, and Hester said it’s paying off.
“Success builds on success,” he said. “If you don’t invest, you don’t get a return.” More manufacturing means more local jobs and more money flowing to county coffers in the form of taxes.
“We’re in the right location at the right time,” Hester said of Henderson and Vance County’s proximity to Wake and Durham counties.
35 or 40 jobs over 2 or 3 year period, where growth is burgeoning.
It’s not just growth in the commercial sector, either. Hester cited housing developments in the county that could add 1,000 more homes in the next three to five years.
“The more rooftops you get here in this community, the more retail, the more you can help with quality of lives of citizens,” Hester said.
“It’s all happening faster than I thought,” he acknowledged. “I think we’re getting ready to grow.”