Henderson, N.C. – Sites have been identified and negotiations for land acquisition are under way in Franklin, Granville, Vance and Warren counties, the four counties collaborating to create the Kerr-Tar Hub.

The Kerr-Tar Hub is an unprecedented multi-county effort to enable these four rural counties to participate more fully in the technology-driven economy of the Research Triangle Region of North Carolina.

“Acquisition of the property in each of the four county sites is a critical step toward creating a concrete reality from what has been a vision for the last four years,” said Danny Wright, chairman of the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation, the nonprofit organization formed to own and develop the Hub. The Hub project aims to attract business development in the four counties by creating a network of specialized industrial parks (Hub sites) that are linked to the industrial clusters of the larger Research Triangle Region.

“Securing these locations allows us to move forward with specifics, such as site development, business plans, marketing strategies and fund-raising efforts,” said Wright. “We’re making definite progress.”

Among the development activities that are under way:

  • Site Selection and Land Acquisition – Hub sites have been identified in all four counties and officials are negotiating with landowners to acquire them.
  • Master Plan - O’Brien Atkins & Associates, an engineering and planning firm, is developing a master plan to assess the four Hub sites and propose a footprint for their development, including size and placement of buildings, roads and utilities. 
  • Business and Marketing Plans – The Small Business Technology and Development Center and Research Triangle Regional Partnership, two partner organizations in the region, are working with Hub officials to develop a detailed business plan to guide Hub operations and a marketing plan for attracting businesses to the Hub sites. 
  • Fund Raising – The Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation has formally received its designation by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501-C-3 nonprofit entity, ensuring that contributions to the effort are tax-deductible. A feasibility study is being conducted to assess private-sector fund raising potential for the HUB.

Major funding received for the Hub project in the past year includes $4 million from the North Carolina General Assembly for the purchase of property, site development and infrastructure. The N.C. Department of Transportation granted $400,000 to each of the four participating counties to develop entryways, turn lanes and signage for the Hub parks.

To date, the Kerr-Tar Hub project has attracted $6.2 million in grants from government agencies and private foundations, including Golden LEAF, Kerr-Tar Workforce Development Board, N.C. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, N.C. General Assembly and the N.C. Department of Transportation.

For more information on the Hub project, visit www.kerrtarhub.org or contact Timmy Baynes, executive director of the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments, administrator for the Hub project, at (252) 436-2040 or tbaynes@kerrtarcog.org.

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