The Catawba County spec building program was part of the “Building for Jobs” strategic plan that placed most of the risk on the developer and offsets that risk for up to three years using local (City/County) assistance. With the sale of the first spec building, the EDC was ready to continue implementation of the spec building strategy and engaged Creative EDC to evaluate potential sites for the next manufacturing spec building.
The first step was to evaluate company inquiries in order to understand the demand for building space in Catawba County. Without a quality inventory, Catawba County will be overlooked by as much as 80% of prospects. The next step was to evaluate whether the local and regional building inventory was meeting demand. The final step was to evaluate the best location for the next spec building. The consulting team evaluated sites using online GIS, a site assessment tool, site visits, and site selection criteria. We placed the sites in one of four categories: ready for a spec building development; ideal for a spec building development if a unique partnership can be formed; not yet ready for a spec building or has limits that reduce marketability; and a multi-jurisdictional approach.
We recommended that the community and EDC take the next steps of performing due diligence on sites including grading estimates, technical assessments, securing options, and finding a developer partner. In April 2017, Catawba County EDC announced they were ready to move forward on a new spec building. Read announcement here.