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Without any big job announcements during recent months, it may seem that all is quiet on the economic development front in Newton.
Catawba County's top economic recruiter said that's hardly the case.
"We have submitted Newton sites for 31 different potential projects for requests from the North Carolina Economic Development Commission, requests from the Charlotte Regional Partnership and also through requests we have developed through our own resources," Catawba County Economic Development Corp. President Scott Millar said Tuesday during a year-to-date report at Newton City Council. "There are also three current, active projects that we are working on now. There are several other different projects we are working on."
While the nature of the economic development game kept specific details out of Millar's "dashboard" report, he revealed that there have been 12 different site visits by officials from new potential industries in Newton during the past calendar year.
"Two of those sites are (existing) buildings. One site is in front of the Target project," he said, adding that infrastructure delivered to the Target site — with help from the city of Newton — makes surrounding property more appealing to other industries.
Millar said Newton's Danner Industrial Park, where new developable land is being cleared and prepared for new construction, could also be among sites visited by future industries.
A 455,000-square-foot building currently owned by CommScope also has plenty of potential, he said. That site, on St. James Church Road and formerly owned by RR Donnelley, is a "fantastic facility," Millar said.
"CommScope is looking for a broker to list that, and we are trying to guide that toward a strong national broker that will generate some looks at that facility," he said, adding the building has great infrastructure including connectivity to the new N.C. 16 bypass. "That building has a strong potential to be a heavy-user type of operation. ... I think we will get some strong activity as a result of that being a very good building."
Currently, CCEDC has 18 Newton sites on its website, including 11 buildings and two virtual buildings available for development, Millar said.