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Improvements will bolster industrial park, owners say

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Entrance into Indigreen Corporate Park on Sugg Parkway.

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Michael Abramowitz

Friday, February 3, 2017

Road improvements, utility upgrades and a shell building will help showcase a Pitt County corporate park as a global destination for advanced manufacturing industries, entrepreneurship and other business, its owners said.

At the quarterly meeting of the Pitt County Committee of 100, GUC General Manager Tony Cannon and Pitt County Development Commission Executive Director Wanda Yuhas reported on progress at Indigreen Corporate Park, which sits on Sugg Parkway off of U.S. 264 Bypass north of Greenville.

The park is situated within a larger industrial district, but is designed to maintain its aesthetic rural setting. Its utilities and water are provided by Greenville Utilities. It also is equipped with fiber optic communications. Half of Sugg Parkway is maintained by the N.C. Department of Transportation and half by the Committee of 100.

Companies located at Indigreen include The Daily Reflector, ASMO, Overton’s, Mayne Pharma/Metrics, NACCO/Hyster-Yale, Convergys, Practicon and Fuji Silysia. Located next to Indigreen are Patheon and Dyneema. 

“We are in business to bring the private sector to the table and provide things that government agencies are unable to provide,” Cannon said. 

Last year, the committee engaged Silverlode Consulting of Ohio to evaluate Indigreen, Cannon said. As part of that, Silverlode also evaluated the community’s economic development processes.

Toward that end, a working group was formed among the county and city, Greenville Utilities, East Carolina University, Pitt Community College, the Pitt-Greenville Chamber of Commerce and Uptown Greenville. The team has been meeting for several months to work on Silverlode’s suggestions, including the formation of a consistent branding message, Cannon said.

As auto parts manufacturer ASMO and drug maker Mayne Pharma undertook major expansions, the committee also has been improving the part of the road it owns. That part of Sugg Parkway will be dug up and reworked from the base through the finish, matching state DOT’s standards so DOT can take ownership and maintain the road, Cannon said.

The committee also is extending sewers from the U.S. 264 entrance all the way to the back of the corporate park to serve the people back there without disturbing the road in the future. They’ve also replaced the natural gas infrastructure throughout the park.

The committee is using a combination of grants and funding to build a 50,000-square-foot shell building with the capability for its occupant to add up to an additional 150,000 square feet. Yuhas said such structures are essential for attracting new occupants and displaying the park’s growth potential.

The development should meet the existing needs of businesses in the park and expand the committee’s capabilities to attract more manufacturing industries and market the remaining lots in Indigreen and can grow jobs on the properties, Cannon said.

Internal business expansion holds important value for the Committee of 100’s efforts to attract more industry to the park, Cannon said.

“We need expansion, but we also need to balance it with new growth,” Cannon said. “A lot of companies are looking for this type of park. We want to make sure we’re sending the message that we have a good product right here.”

The committee also looks toward working with the city and county to see if it can bring more commercial development to the park, Cannon said.

“That’s what companies are looking for, and we’ve got to catch up with our competition,” he said. “You’re seeing places like Research Triangle Park (in Raleigh) building residential and commercial alongside the industrial sites.”

One of the committee’s projected goals is to put even more “green” into Indigreen Park, Cannon said. Committee leadership will be meeting with all the business owners in the park to discuss adding more green spaces, water features, walking trails and other features that will make it more usable for area residents and the employees who work there.

Cannon couldn’t precisely evaluate the length and depth of backing that city and county elected officials will be willing to provide to the extensive development and marketing efforts that the committee envisions.

“The elected officials and administrations we have now are very supportive, but it changes and the conversations will continue to change. We have to have a process in place that can weather any changes in the (political) environment. They are showing some vision, and that’s very important. Now we have to start having some successes, because when folks are working, building homes and paying taxes, that keeps those changing political demographics happy. And it’s great for our community as we become a more prosperous, recognized and meaningful place.”

The Pitt County Committee of 100, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, was formed in 1995 to stimulate and provide a broader network of support for economic development throughout Pitt County. Funds are obtained from membership dues and expertise comes from its members, which include business leaders, entrepreneurs, professionals, citizens, and other stakeholders.

Contact Michael Abramowitz at mabramowitz@reflector.com or 252-329-9507.

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