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Dreaming big: Easter Creek develops 150,000-square-foot industrial spec building

GRANITE QUARRY — In Granite Quarry, representatives from Easter Creek Partners and Triad Commercial Properties agree: if you build it, they will come.

‘It,’ in this case, is an industrial speculative building with a footprint of 150,000 square feet. The goal, said Easter Creek developer Brian Lucas, is to lure a company with the promise of a new and customizable workspace available for lease.

“Our perfect tenant is a new company that’s moving to the area and is going to have a really big headquarters presence here,” said Easter Creek developer Brian Lucas. “This is going to be their shining building where they bring all of their customers and their vendors.”

Construction of the mammoth-sized structure, located off Chamandy Drive, began in late August. After weeks of setbacks with the soil, holidays and weather delays, all four concrete walls were in place by mid-January.

The development comes through careful consultation and partnership with the Rowan Economic Development Commission and the county at large.

The county acquired the land from Gildan, and $2.5 million in grant funding from various sources has since extended infrastructure and access roads to the area.

“With all the 85 work that they just got done, Salisbury all of a sudden is now a direct path to Charlotte,” said Lucas. “We think North Carolina will continue to grow with industrial users, … that Salisbury is kind of a perfect place from a logistics point of view to get products north, south, east and west.”

Breck Dorton, broker with Triad Commercial Properties, agreed. He said Salisbury has become an epicenter between Atlanta and D.C. as well as between the triad and Charlotte.

Lucas said this centralized location and nearness to a potential enduser could save companies up to $1 million on their biggest expense: freight.

“Why wouldn’t you want something that’s cheaper to operate?” he said.

The finished spec building will be 500-by-300 feet, with ceilings heights of up to 32 feet. It will remain unfinished inside until Dorton secures a tenant.

This, said Lucas, offers tenants a unique opportunity to get exactly what they need rather than trying to make an already completed space work.

But this isn’t the only way Easter Creek is prepared to offer customization. With plans to develop three to four neighboring sites for industrial users, Lucas said Easter Creek could work with potential clients from the ground up.

“(A)s potential employers come to look at this site, if it was a little too big or they needed something dimensionally just a little bit different, we could immediately serve them on the next parcel over,” said Lucas.

Dorton said that the in-process construction is a good marketing tool for possible leasers.

“We’re marketing it that way, as something you can see, touch and feel,” Dorton said. “People can get an idea as to what (Easter Creek’s) product looks like. At the same time, if this isn’t the perfect fit or if they need modifications, boom, we can accommodate that on this pad next door.”

Therein, Dorton is able to look for a wider range of potential tenants: those seeking that 150,000 square feet, or others who may be seeking as few as 80,000.

“A lot of times for growing businesses they want expandability. They don’t want constraint,” said Lucas. “That’s what we will allow them to have.”

For now, construction on the first speculative building is expected to be completed by the first of May. The roof could be completed in as little as five weeks.

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