Improving Business in the Wilmington Region

Duke Energy to help prepare Pender County, N.C., location for potential industrial development

CHARLOTTE — Duke Energy Progress has chosen a 700-acre site located in both Pender and New Hanover counties to participate in the utility’s 2013 Site Readiness Program to prepare the location for potential industrial development.

For the next four months, the site will undergo a comprehensive assessment for its strengths for specific target industries. Duke Energy has hired McCallum Sweeney, a nationally known consulting firm, to conduct a site study. Land-use planners will create conceptual plans detailing the areas of the site most suited for building and development.

Located north of Wilmington and west of Highway 421, a portion of the site is the Pender Commerce Park in Currie, while the rest housed BASF, a vitamin manufacturing company located in New Hanover County. There are still buildings left intact on the BASF portion of the site that could be used as temporary office space for a new industry that elects to build on the land.

“City limits and county lines are not economic boundaries. We approach economic development from a regional perspective by collaborating with local citizens and community leaders to build stronger, successful communities,” said Stu Heishman, Duke Energy vice president of economic and business development.

Duke Energy will present its findings – including a detailed report and conceptual drawings – to county officials in November. After the site’s state of readiness has advanced, Duke Energy’s Business Development Team will actively market the site nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.

“This site has tremendous possibilities,” said John Nelms, Duke Energy’s economic development manager for Pender and New Hanover counties. “Not only does it have excellent road access and multi-lane connectivity to I-40, it is less than 10 miles from the Port of Wilmington and a short drive to the Wilmington International Airport.”

This month, Duke Energy’s economic development program was named by Site Selection Magazine to its annual list of Top Utilities in Economic Development for 2013. It has held that prestigious title for more than a decade.

“We are always very happy to do business with successful companies like Duke Energy,” said Scott Satterfield, CEO of the Wilmington Business Development Corporation. “Our property is a blank slate with a lot of great potential. We are looking for ideas and innovation from the Site Readiness Program to help pull it all together and create new development and new jobs.”

More than 35 counties submitted applications for Duke Energy’s 2013 Site Readiness Program in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Ten North Carolina sites were chosen by the utility.

Ideal candidates for Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program are 75 acres or larger, served by the utility. A qualified site can be best suited for either a single, large industrial facility, data center, or a potential industrial park (multi-tenant site).

For more information about Duke Energy’s economic development programs, visit

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