Large parcels of land in the southern portion of the City of Burlington had remained underutilized for years, despite their close proximity to both the regional airport and major interstate highways. This was in large part due to the lack of utilities available in this more rural area of the jurisdiction. In 2012, the city successfully applied for a $695,000 Golden LEAF Foundation grant to extend water and wastewater to the vacant, industrially zoned land.
With the help of this grant, the city was able to attract its first major investor, Sheetz Inc. Sheetz located a distribution center on 43 acres of an undeveloped industrial park, primarily due to the availability of water and sewer made available by the city with this grant. The Sheetz distribution center was a capital investment of more than $30 million and serves Sheetz facilities throughout the southeast. Sheetz, Inc. has already added over 220 new full-time jobs to Burlington’s economy and the project is expected to yield over 253 total jobs by the end of 2018.
As a result of the just over $1,000,000 total investment, a much larger area was made available for development. With the help of the extension of water and sewer to this area, the city was able to provide wastewater service to an additional 125 acres and water service to an additional 300 acres of potential development.
There is a reason why companies such as LabCorp, Glen Raven and Kayser-Roth chose to call Burlington home. The Sheetz distribution center is just the latest example of city officials working hand-in-hand with the private sector to bring jobs and business to the city, and to improve the quality of life of residents.