Supports Infrastructure Grants Program

In December 2016, Golden LEAF awarded $25M in grants to seven large sites in North Carolina. was one of the evaluation tools used by Golden LEAF to assess sites applying for grant funds.

The sites met a standard set of criteria, including public ownership or public control of a site that is at least 150 contiguous acres, appropriate local financial support, recent private-sector interest in developing an industrial project at the site, and a strategy to market the site to identified clients. Submissions included independent evaluations of site readiness and qualification – one of the independent evaluations was

The Golden LEAF Foundation awarded the following grants under the MSDI:

  • $7 million to the Carolinas Gateway Partnership for the project “Kingsboro Mega-Site Infrastructure (A CSX Select Site)” to support water, sewer and road infrastructure and a groundwater study.
  • $7 million to the City of Greensboro for the project “Greensboro-Randolph MegaSite Sewer Extension” to support sewer infrastructure.
  • $4 million to the City of Sanford for the project “Moncure MegaSite” to support sewer infrastructure.
  • $3 million to the City of Shelby for the project “Farmville Road Water System Improvements Serving Washburn Switch Business Park” to support water infrastructure.
  • $4 million to the Town of Siler City for the project “Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site Water & Wastewater Service” to support water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Golden LEAF grants were part of the Major Site Development Initiative (MSDI), a joint initiative of Golden LEAF, the Rural Infrastructure Authority, and Duke Energy. The goal of the MSDI is to increase site competitiveness and reduce the time needed for site development to attract major projects with substantial job creation and private capital investment. is a proprietary online evaluation tool that independently ranks sites. The tool assesses utilities, infrastructure, and general site characteristics. After answering approximately 30 questions, the site is given a score and a one-page report explaining the evaluation. It is an efficient, independent way to review site strengths and weaknesses.

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