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Corbett Package Co. Officials Mull Next Steps For Former Milling Site

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jun 11, 2021
Albert Corbett (from left) stands with Eddie Corbett and Hunter Corbett outside the veneer mill on Castle Hayne Road where the family has held land for decades. (File photo)
New development could be in the future for some Corbett family land near downtown Wilmington. 

The 17-acre Castle Hayne Road property is not currently on the market, and the future of the site is still being determined after milling operations shut down two years ago, said Albert Corbett, a partner of Corbett Package Co.

But Corbett said this week he wouldn’t turn down an offer of development if the right fit came along.

“The buildings and the land are for lease," Corbett said. "I see in the future it’s going to be probably commercial and/or a combination of multifamily housing because that is what is happening all around us here. It’s an ideal property."

The Corbett Package Co.'s manufacturing operation closed in September 2019, ceasing its veneer milling operations after nearly 100 years. Corbett declined to say how many employees were impacted by the closure but said that the company helped place some of its former employees with other work.

Now the family is holding an auction to sell off the equipment used at the facility. That auction is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. June 22, according to Lloyd Meekins & Sons Auction Co., which is handling the auction.

​The company still holds offices at the site, where it runs multiple divisions of the family business, Corbett said.

"It's still headquarters for several of our other companies. There are several large companies that operate out of the base now," Corbett said.

The Corbetts have owned the property at 1200 Castle Hayne Road for generations. The milling operation started there in the 1920s, Corbett said.

The company stopped manufacturing mainly because of the declining source of raw material, Corbett said, adding that given the location, “the property is more valuable for other commercial uses and perhaps residential use.”

Today the site, which next to Smith Creek off Castle Hayne Road, has several commercial buildings and undeveloped land.

The company is leasing out the property, with about 30,000 to 40,000 square feet of warehousing space open for lease, as well as about 10 acres of land for lease, Corbett said.

The property includes four main commercial buildings, including offices. "For now, we are leasing out portions of the buildings," he said.

Of the warehouse, Corbett said, “It’s a concrete floor and metal building warehouse and dock height, which is a big plus. The property is on a creek, on water, and that’s a real plus, and we have land. And it’s close to the Port of Wilmington, another plus, the airport and interstates."

Aside from a lease, Corbett said the potential for development activity is there. Corbett said the ideal situation in the future would be to sell the entire property.

"We would be open," Corbett said. "If I have somebody very interested in it, something like that may be an option. The future of the area will determine the ultimate use of the property."
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