There's plenty of action now at the Pender Commerce Park with construction of a seafood-processing plant half completed and work started on a wastewater treatment plant.
And the county-owned park is drawing more interest from a variety of companies, a local development official says.
RC Creations LLC, which is building a 100,000-square-foot seafood processing plant on more than 20 acres at the park, has hired a human resources director and some quality assurance employees, said Richard Nordt, vice president of engineering and manufacturing for parent company Acme Smoked Fish Corp., based in New York.
The company expects to hire about 80 manufacturing employees by the plant's planned start-up date of Nov. 1 and then another 40 or more in the first quarter of 2015, he said.
"Our mission here is to be one of the top 10 employers in the county in the next 12 to 24 months," Nordt said this week.
The plant's construction has spurred more infrastructure development.
"The opportunity for RC Creations jump-started us to the next phase by starting the wastewater treatment plant," said David Williams, chairman of the Pender County commissioners.
Helped by about $3.5 million in grants, construction began this spring, he said.
Nordt said he expects the wastewater plant to be completed by the time the plant comes on stream around Nov. 1.
"The timing will be very close," Williams said, "but all indications are both projects are moving along nicely."
If the dates overlap, the county has a pump and haul arrangement with the town of Wallace, he said.
Other infrastructure work continues. The park is well along in putting in roads and curbs, Williams said.
The county also is working on rail service to the park. "We got a grant to do a rail study and have land set aside for future rail service," Williams said.