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East Lincoln County seeks to build Industrial Park

East Lincoln may be getting an industrial park in the near future. According to Barry Matherly, executive director for the Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) the nonprofit corporation has a verbal communication agreement from a property owner. The project has been on the capital improvement plan for at least four years and is a goal that LEDA and Lincoln County have been working towards. “We are at the point now where we are actually acting on it,” Matherly said. Matherly hopes that if East Lincoln does get a park that it would be at least 100 acres, if not more. Lincolnton has a industrial park similar to what East Lincoln would have. The Lincoln County Industrial Park is located close to U.S. 321 and has succeeded in bringing in businesses and more jobs. “The reason that we are looking to develop a park in East Lincoln is that we have been able to see first hand the explosive growth in the Lincoln County Industrial Park due to U.S. 321,” he said. “Without U.S. 321 the Lincoln County Industrial Park would not do as well as it is doing and when we look at NC 16 we see the same effect occurring,” he added. Matherly said the park would most likely have smaller to medium size companies with two targets, international businesses and motor sports suppliers. It is not know approximately how many jobs this would bring to the county or where the park would be located but Matherly said there is one company who has showed an interest in the park even though it does not even exist yet. Many companies are interested in the East Lincoln area due its proximity to the airport, city and lake, he said. After the agreement is written and finalized, an environmental analysis and a phase I analysis would have to be conducted, then a land plan would be conducted to make sure the site is viable. The last two steps would be to create a master plan and then the site would be marketed. The goal is to pick a site and start an analysis of the site by June 30. Construction is anticipated to being 2006-2007.