Officials hail megasite land purchase

January 5, 2016

ASHEBORO — The N.C. Railroad Company announced Tuesday that it has begun the process of purchasing 875 acres of land within the 1,450-acre Greensboro-Randolph Megasite project near Liberty.

Officials are hailing the move as another milestone in developing the megasite to make it more attractive to industry. They hope to lure a car manufacturer or other major industrial operation to the area and bring much-needed jobs to the Triad.

Randolph County Manager Hal Johnson said the county welcomes this decision.

“It emphasizes the statewide importance of this site for economic development and job creation. The announcement also highlights what I feel is the best example I have seen of the strong public/private economic development partnership that exists between Randolph County, the City of Greensboro, the State of North Carolina and the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation,” Johnson said.

Bonnie Renfro, president of the Randolph County Economic Development Corp., also acknowledged the purchase’s significance in moving the project forward.

“This is a giant step that strengthens the partnership that has worked so cooperatively and diligently to create a competitive megasite that will bring new jobs for our community, region and state,” she said.

Last year, Randolph County spent $10 million to buy 425 acres, but the remainder of the land is under control of the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation through options to purchase the land.

Scott M. Saylor, president of the N.C. Railroad Company, said in a letter acknowledging the agreement to purchase approximately 875 acres, that his company is in the process of completing its due diligence and is working with partners to assemble its portion of the site.

He explained why the company chose to make the investment.

“Large manufacturers are substantial rail users and have a significant multiplier effect on job creation. As such, the N.C. Railroad Company is committed to assisting in transformational economic development projects that will lead to job creation opportunities for our state. This purchase is a decision made by our board of directors and is aligned with the company’s overall commitment to making strategic, rail-related investments in our state to promote economic development and job growth.”

In the letter addressed to Randolph Commission Chair Darrell Frye; Jim Melvin, president of the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite Foundation; and Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, Saylor said the company is pleased to work “in collaboration with you as the key regional partners to assist in land assemblage and site readiness efforts.”

He went on to say:

“With your continued leadership, the hard work necessary to ensure the readiness and marketability of the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite will lead to an incredible return for your region and our state as a whole.

“The N.C. Railroad Company is committed to making targeted investments that result in a positive economic impact for North Carolina and looks forward to our continued partnership as the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite is marketed to interested parties.”

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