Local Stories

Albemarle is Stepping Up

Story Image

Standing out means stepping up.

That’s why the Albemarle City Council this month moved to invest in more than 282 acres suitable for a corporate center — a commercial-ready area geared to attract big private investment, jobs and tax base expansion.

“If we’re not willing to invest in ourselves, no one else will,” the Stanly News & Press quoted of Mayor Ronnie Michael in coverage of the purchase agreement.

The city’s own economic development director, Mark Donham, said it answers the call for bigger opportunities. “If we are going to fill the need for jobs and effectively develop a comprehensive approach to economic development, we have to have product (buildings) to show potential businesses,” Donham said.

As drawn, as many as 12 commercial facilities — adding up to 2.25 million square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space — could rise on the site. From that layout, officials project potentially $100 million in private sector investment, more than $500,000 in new property tax revenue annually and between 3,500 and  5,000 jobs.

It’s a small-town example of big intention. Albemarle, with roughly 16,000 residents, even has its own economic development director, who notes that the corporate center shows pro-business leadership. The site would have immediate access to all utilities, is close to transportation resources, and bears the advantage of a ready workforce.

Updates will come as the story unfolds for Albemarle.