Proposed industrial park gains final approval

May. 09, 2013 @ 05:27 PM

Developers have received final approval from High Point to proceed with their plans for what could be the second-largest industrial park in the city’s history.
The City Council this week approved a rezoning and develoment agreement for Greensboro-based 350 South Land Holdings, which is seeking to draw office parks, corporate headquarters, light industrial and commercial projects to a 510-acre site between the city limits and Interstate 40.
The property is in unincorporated Guilford County but is within territory that has been designated for annexation by High Point under agreements the city has with Kernersville and Greensboro.
The annexation of the site, which was contingent on council approval of the development agreement, takes effect later this month.
350 South is led by Greensboro developer D.H. Griffin Sr. There are no plans at this time to begin developing the site, said Jeff Mott, chief financial officer for D.H. Griffin Companies.
Developers have been recruiting industrial tenants, but no prospects are firmed up yet, as everyone appears to be waiting for the economy to pick up, Mott said. The first phase of the park would be between Adkins and Sandy Ridge roads.
“It’s got to be driven by demand,” he said.
Mott said the development could eventually resemble Piedmont Centre, the city’s largest industrial park, which covers about 1,100 acres and is occupied by more than 170 companies that include distribution and office operations, call centers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and health care businesses.
High Point has been planning for years to grow to the north, running water and sewer lines into the area to help prime it for development.
City leaders say High Point has to grow its tax base as annexation opportunities dry up.
“I am excited that it’s a local, lifelong, qualified Triad native handling the project, and I feel very confident he and his team will do all within their power and their means to make it successful,” said Councilman Britt Moore.
Opponents of the development include property owners who live near the site, which is mostly open pasture and wooded areas. They argue that an industrial park would destroy the rural character of the area by bringing noise and heavy traffic volumes to two-lane roads that are ill-equipped to handle large trucks.
“Those people out there moved there for the quality of life, and I hate to see that lost by what we’re allowing,” said Councilman Foster Douglas.
The development agreement approved by council calls for the city to extend two sewer outfall lines to the site. One would serve phase one and would cost the city an estimated $800,000.
The city would fund the other sewer improvement only if the second phase of the park develops, at an estimated cost of $600,000. Under the agreement, developers are responsible for financing and constructing road, water and other infrastructure improvements.