A consultant is doing an extensive inventory of available properties for industrial development in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville, the nonprofit Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corp. announced recently.
Michael Trotter, a former 22-year Duke Energy employee, is identifying parcels that could eventually be certified by the state as “shovel ready” for immediate development.
“Right now, we have a limited number of properties with required infrastructure in place for new corporations to locate in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville,” Mike Griffin, chairman of the EDC’s board, said in announcing Trotter’s work for the agency.
“Most of our available land does not meet necessary water-sewer, roadway, zoning, gas-electric, traffic accessibility, fiber optics, wetlands and environmental-historical-archaeological requirements,” Griffin said. “That’s why we’re dedicating so much effort.”
Trotter has met with government officials in the three towns. He’s collecting public records on available properties and is examining traffic accessibility and other issues related to sites that might qualify for industrial development. He also will meet with property owners to gauge their interest in selling their land.
Three major properties already being considered in more detail are:
• The Gateway site that fronts Interstate 77 across from the 131 Main restaurant in Cornelius.
• Davidson East, a large tract that fronts N.C. 73 in Davidson.
• A tract on Mount Holly-Huntersville Road in Huntersville.
Those sites are likely to make the list for more in-depth analysis and development following Trotter’s work, said Jerry Broadway, EDC executive director. “The ultimate goal is to start getting state-certified sites in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville,” Broadway said.
Trotter will identify what more is needed on such properties so they’re ready for industrial prospects, said Charity Barbee, who leads the EDC’s existing company program. “We need more shovel-ready properties to keep attracting and retaining the stellar health care, energy, advanced manufacturing, plastics, motorsports and biotech industries the Lake Norman region is known for,” she said.
Trotter founded Bearing Resources Inc., a professional consulting services company. His career with Duke Energy included a managerial role with the company’s economic development organization leading efforts in the Charlotte, Triad and Research Triangle Park areas. Trotter has a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Clemson University and is a registered professional engineer in South Carolina.
Since its inception in 2003, the Lake Norman EDC has brought $218 million in new capital investment and 1,711 jobs to the region by recruiting businesses and helping existing industries expand. Its most recent success was recruiting MSC Industrial Direct Co. to Davidson. The company is investing $31 million and 400 jobs in a six-story building under construction at Interstate 77 Exit 30.