Statesville Record & Landmark

The city of Statesville on Friday announced plans for a 1,000-plus-acre commerce park that leaders said could bring as many as 3,400 jobs and $650 million in tax revenue over the next 15 years.

The development, called Larkin Commerce Park, will be built just east of Interstate 77 off Exit 45. It will be a combination of industrial and retail space, including a hotel and restaurants, planners said.

The plan was announced during a City Hall news conference attended by city, county and state political leaders and other stakeholders.

The city entered into a private-public partnership with two landowners, Greenfield Partners and Barrow Street, and The Keith Corp., Scott Development Group, LandDesign and Statesville Regional Development to move the project forward.

The site has long been slated for the development. In 2007, the city announced plans for a mixed-use development there, similar to Birkdale in Huntersville. Those plans came to a halt with the recession.

With 5 million square feet of industrial development and 750,000 square feet of retail and commercial space to be developed, project leaders expect the commerce park to become a regional hub for businesses and consumers.

“While our business plan has changed and what you see in front of you is different, our belief in this community and this site and what we think this opportunity could mean for the region and the broader Southeast has not changed,” said Jeff Usas, managing director of Greenfield Partners. “We have the opportunity to serve the e-commerce business that is growing nationwide and businesses here regionally that need warehouse, industrial and distribution facilities.”

The development partners, along with the N.C. Department of Commerce, will recruit tenants.

Tom Scott, president of Scott Development Group, said the 10-year pause on the original Larkin plan was a good thing.

“A long time ago when we first put the project together, it was going to be residential and more commercial, but then the recession came,” he said. “This new plan is far superior to what we had planned. It’s more appropriate for the site.

“I’m just thankful we didn’t proceed with the other plan because we would have to deal with trying to reconstruct something we already started into this (new plan),” he said.

Mayor Pro Tem Michael Johnson said the city has spent the past decade investing in its workforce and infrastructure to prepare for the Larkin project. That includes a $23 million expansion of the nearby Third Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Reprinted with permission of the Statesville Record & Landmark.