The Transylvania Times -

County Site To Get Promotion Boost


October 26, 2017

Duke Energy has selected two North Carolina properties, including Davidson River Village in Transylvania County, for participation in the second half of its 2017 Site Readiness Program to prepare them for business and industrial development.

The sites were selected based on their potential to bring large businesses and industries to their respective areas, according to a press release.

Davidson River Village is a 175-acre development located at the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest that used to be the home to the Ecusta plant.

As a former manufacturing site, the release said, it has excellent infrastructure, easy access to major transportation corridors, a creative workforce and immediate access to major public recreational lands.

“Participation in the Duke Energy Site Readiness Program has brought enormous value to our community,” said Josh Hallingse, executive director of Transylvania Economic Alliance. “The effort assembled expertise from the site selection, civil engineering, utility, economic development and landowner groups all for the purpose of advancing a common economic growth vision. We are extremely thankful for the support of Duke Energy for their commitment to proactive community engagement.”

The other location picked is a 175-acre Collett site off U.S. 70 near Morganton in Burke County.

This site has excellent infrastructure, including rail access from Norfolk Southern, according to the press release.

“The Site Readiness Program enables communities to make new properties ready for economic activity,” said Alan Wood, president of Burke Development Inc. “We appreciate Duke Energy’s partnership in our efforts to attract new business and industry to Burke County.”

Six additional properties were selected earlier this year, for a total of eight North Carolina properties participating in the 2017 Site Readiness Program.

The Site Readiness Program has helped prepare properties that have won 12 major projects in North Carolina since the program started in 2005, resulting in more than 3,400 new jobs and $6 billion in capital investment.

Through the program, Duke Energy identifies high-quality industrial sites and partners with county officials and local economic development professionals to develop a strategy for providing water, sewer, natural gas and electricity to the properties.

Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are typically 75 acres or larger, and served by the utility. Occasionally, a large vacant industrial building may be evaluated to support renewed industrial growth and sustainable development in a community. Site consulting firm McCallum Sweeney Consulting will evaluate the eight sites.

Based on consultant recommendations, Duke Energy will collaborate with county leaders and local economic development professionals to develop an improved strategy for marketing these sites.

Additionally, each site is eligible to apply for a $10,000 matching grant from Duke Energy to help prepare it to attract projects.

After each site’s state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy’s business development team strategically markets each of them nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

Duke Energy’s economic development efforts are perennially recognized by Site Selection Magazine in the publication’s annual list of “Top Utilities in Economic Development.” Through these efforts, Duke Energy helped recruit $2.2 billion in capital investment in North Carolina and more than 5,500 jobs for the state in 2016.

“Helping our communities attract businesses brings increased job opportunities and economic prosperity for entire regions,” said John Geib, North Carolina economic development director for Duke Energy. “We’re committed to working with economic development groups to help build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger North Carolina.”

For more information about Duke Energy’s economic development programs, go to


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