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Site readiness report for Chatham-Randolph megasite has been completed

Posted Saturday, July 13, 2013

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Siler City, NC - As part of the 2013 Duke Energy Site Readiness Program, McCallum Sweeney, a nationally known consulting firm, has completed its comprehensive study of a 1,774-acre megasite west of Siler City for large-scale industrial development. The consulting team will present their final report on Friday morning, July 19.

The meeting is scheduled for 9 am at the Western Chatham Senior Center at 112 Village Lake Road in Siler City. It will include local, regional and state officials. Mark Sweeney, senior principal, will present an analysis of the site selection process with an emphasis on megasite readiness and the critical need for ready sites.

Doug Stimmel with Stimmel Associates, project engineers, will present an overview of the site, including access, natural features, topography, and buildability. Sarah White, a consultant for McCallum Sweeney, will conclude with the site report, including strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations.

“We were encouraged by the consulting team’s initial positive response during their site visit in late May,” said Dianne Reid, president, Chatham Economic Development Corporation. “We’ve invited a broad audience to hear the assessment and help build support for the next steps in developing and marketing the site.”Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program is designed to help communities served by the utility compete for new companies and jobs.

“This site has the potential to put Chatham County on a fast track for economic development,” said John Geib, Duke Energy’s economic development director for Chatham County. “It’s an enormous amount of land — about the size of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. That’s the size necessary for a large-scale manufacturing company or automotive project.”

McCallum Sweeney has been instrumental in many high-profile automotive relocations and expansions.

Duke Energy’s economic development team forges strategic relationships with prospective industries nationally and globally.

“However, our competitive edge comes from knowing our customers,” said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy’s vice president of economic development. “We have strong relationships with the local communities we serve like Siler City and Chatham County. We understand the needs of those areas and work to find the right the industries and businesses to meet those needs.”

Duke Energy’s program has been recognized by Southern Business & Development Magazine as one of the South’s top site readiness programs. Duke Energy’s overall economic development program has also been consistently named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Utility Economic Development Programs.”

More than 35 counties submitted applications for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program in North Carolina and South Carolina.

The Chatham County site is one of 10 North Carolina sites chosen by the utility.

Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s site readiness program are 75 acres or larger, served by the utility. A qualified site can be best suited either for a single, large industrial facility, data center, or for a potential industrial park (multi-tenant site).

Strategically located near Highway 421 and south of Interstate 85, the megasite has 5,000 feet of rail frontage. The land is undeveloped and has two owners, both committed to attracting a large industrial user.

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Site readiness report for Chatham-Randolph megasite has been completed