Anson industrial park could bring up to 400 jobs with rail connection

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By Ken Elkins  – Senior Staff Writer, Charlotte Business Journal

A new, 140-acre industrial park in Anson County with a connection to a major railroad could bring up to 400 jobs to that county in the Charlotte region, planners say.

Anson 74 Rail Park was officially dedicated this week, with a Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE:DUK) study stating the site could support up to 1 million square feet of building space from tenants who take land in the park.

“While many communities have rail-served sites available, very few have planned sites in a business park setting with access to two major highways and an existing rail spur and transload facility,” says John Marek, executive director of the Anson Economic Development Partnership.

The two highways that Marek is referencing are U.S. highways 74 and 52. And the railroad connection is to CSX Corp.’s (NASDAQ:CSX) Queen City Express line that links Charlotte to Wilmington.

Steve Yost, president of North Carolina’s Southeast, a regional economic development marketing agency, says the rail link to the Port of Wilmington should be important to the new industrial park.

“The State of North Carolina has invested more than $200 million in improvements at the Port of Wilmington, making the rail link between the port and Charlotte a prime corridor for locating national and international business operations,” he says. 

Duke’s Site Readiness study found that the park, which is located near Wadesboro, would be attractive to customers needing to bring in components and ship out products by rail.

The transload facility Marek mentions is owned by Carolinas ReLoad, which has spent $400,000 since 2013 to improve the facility. That includes a 25-ton gantry crane measuring 60 feet that transfers cargo between trucks and rail cars.

Plus, Marek likes the industrial park’s location near residential and commercial areas. That could spur mixed-use development in the vicinity, he says.