Chamber Chat - Carolina Core

Oct 14

By Meg Moss


The Carolina Core is a new way of thinking about economic development that erases all traditional boundaries and focuses on the combined globally competitive assets of communities along the Highway 421 corridor.


The Core is a corridor between Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Sanford and Fayetteville at the heart of North Carolina with four new megasites of 7,500 + acres of certified land that offer advanced manufacturers room to grow, as well as many other industrial sites, urban research parks and mixed-use developments. For instance, in Sanford, Central Carolina Enterprise Park is a prime location for new or expanding businesses.


The megasite corridor along Highway 421 between Winston-Salem and Fayetteville, branded as the Carolina Core, now has a more united identity to help economic development efforts. The Piedmont Triad Partnership announced the Carolina Core regional brand in August at an event attended by business and economic development leaders and high-ranking public officials.


We are in the middle of a state that is consistently ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation with low costs, competitive incentives and first-rate infrastructure to access the world. But to compete on a global stage and attract new businesses in Sanford, we must come together as a larger region and recognize that a win for one is a win for all.


If Sanford wins a large project, it is good for our neighbors along the corridor in Siler City, and Greensboro. Likewise, if they win a big project, the domino effect of winning—including adding suppliers and other supportive business—will benefit Sanford, the region and the entire state of North Carolina.


Alone, we are—individual communities, individual megasites, individual colleges or universities, individual research or industrial parks—but together we are a global story, and together we will win.


Stan Kelly, CEO and president of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, stated in a News and Record article, that “the development of four megasites comprising more than 7,500 acres, plus industrial sites, urban research parks and mixed-use developments, presents large-scale economic opportunities in central North Carolina. Blending manufacturing with research and development, the four transformative sites — Piedmont Triad International Aerospace Megasite, Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site and Moncure Megasite — offer unique assets that will drive economic growth for the region. Combining these megasites with a labor shed of more than 1 million workers positions central North Carolina globally as a compelling expansion site for industry.”


The megasite located closest to Sanford is the Moncure Megasite. It is the largest of the four megasites, boasting 2,500 + acres, access to RDU, and is in close proximity to three Tier 1 research universities.

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