Economic developers are working to bring more business to the Pender Industrial Park.
An update to the master plan for the park, located in Burgaw, was completed in February, said Scott Satterfield, CEO of Wilmington Business Development (WBD), the economic development organization serving Wilmington and New Hanover and Pender counties.
WBD and Four County Electric Membership Corp. started working with engineering firm Thomas & Hutton late last year on the update, he said.
Now that it is complete, economic developers, along with Pender County, the town of Burgaw and other corporate partners are using the plan to continue to market the Pender Industrial Park to generate jobs and investment in the region, Satterfield said.
“Light manufacturing and food processing are amongst our targets for the Pender Industrial Park,” he said. “The proximity to major players in the ag industry differentiates this park from other regional product that we market.”
Pender Industrial Park, different from Pender Commerce Park, currently has about 115 acres available to build on. Land within the park is all privately owned, and there are various tracts located at the site.
“All existing buildings at the Pender Industrial Park are occupied, but there is significant acreage available for new industrial development,” Satterfield said.
Existing industries there include American Skin, Packaging 151 Co., Phoenix Molded Plastics, Mojotone, Wilmington Box Co., Niels Jorgensen Co., Windsor Fiberglass and Cardinal Foods.
Earlier this year, Cardinal Foods announced that it would expand its facility, 201 Progress Drive, by 56,000 square feet to grow its food processing business. At the time, officials said the investment would make Cardinal Foods one of the largest sweet potato fry manufacturers in the world.
“It’s very exciting to see the industrial momentum in the Burgaw market. It’s not limited to the Cardinal Foods expansion announcement either,” Satterfield said. “There are fantastic niche manufacturers in Burgaw … really some of the Greater Wilmington region’s most interesting and unknown success stories … this is really becoming a strong industrial cluster and destination for world-class operations.”
Another key to this park is having the availability of sites that have the infrastructure needed to attract industry. The Pender Industrial Park meets several checkmarks, including water and sewer and electric and fiber lines, Satterfield said.
“We feel that we are in the best position we’ve been in many years on that front,” he said.
The park and the updated plan adds to a growing network of available sites and buildings that are in the region for industry recruitment.
“The name of the game is providing multiple options,” Satterfield added. “Each client/prospect has specific needs and specific interests. Some may be attracted to proximity to downtown Wilmington, the port, airport, etc. For others it’s about a workforce that can support a niche manufacturing base, the desire to be near business partners, or competitively priced land. The list goes on and on of potential influencing factors when making a relocation or expansion decision.”
Region in Focus: Pender County