Asheville, NC– In conjunction with the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC), Black Mountain Commerce Park announced its formal designation as a “Certified Site” by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The ‘shovel-ready’ certification of the 57- acre property in Black Mountain signals to prospective developers that significant due-diligence, planning and permitting has been conducted and reviewed by an independent committee in order to accelerate the development process. The park is the first site in Buncombe County to earn certification.
North Carolina’s Department of Commerce introduced the Certified Sites Program in 2001, with the intent of simplifying site selection for prospective companies. The certification program has since become standard practice among leading economic development organizations and state departments of commerce to fast-track economic development projects. Certified sites must complete a rigorous, 31 prerequisite process demonstrating site readiness including boundary survey, documentation of title and rights-of-way, topographic and geotechnical suitability, environmental audit, wetlands delineation and mitigation plans, and review for possible archeological findings and rare or endangered species. A certified site must also demonstrate that infrastructure is in place, and access and zoning are permitted for a host of economic development purposes.
On behalf of the park’s ownership, Dr. Jerry Bobilya began the application process just before the onset of the 2007 recession. “The attraction of a quality development and a world-class employer for the residents of the Swannanoa River Valley remained our highest priority,” noted Dr. Bobilya. “A site of this size, with interstate visibility and close proximity to the amenities of Black Mountain, Montreat College and Warren Wilson College offers a unique opportunity for our present and future generations.” Owners have invested over $100,000 in site preparation for the 57 acre tract, and also control the surrounding 150 acres.
As Economic Development Sponsor for the lengthy application, the EDC worked with Park leadership, the Department of Commerce, AdvantageWest and area engineers to bring the multi-year process to conclusion. K. Ray Bailey, EDC Board Chairman offered his gratitude to all who supported the effort. “As the competition for quality jobs and new tax base intensifies, Buncombe County must seek every advantage. We’re grateful to the leadership of Dr. Jerry Bobilya for taking these steps to make the Black Mountain Commerce Park and the greater Buncombe County community more competitive.”
Mayor of Black Mountain, Carl Bartlett, underscored the significance of the certification to the economic viability of East Buncombe County, “We are thrilled that Black Mountain Commerce Park has earned this distinct honor and continue to work closely with the Park and other local partners to attract quality development and new, quality jobs to our community.”
The investment in site due diligence will also bring greater marketing visibility to Black Mountain by representatives of the North Carolina Department of Commerce and AdvantageWest, the regional economic development partnership for Western North Carolina. “In the expensive and uncertain process of site selection, a certified property removes risk and signals a business-friendly environment here in Buncombe County,” commented Cindy Messer, Western Regional Manager for NC Department of Commerce.
According to AdvantageWest President and CEO Scott Hamilton, only 22 sites currently carry the designation of a North Carolina Certified Site. Only three of those sites reside in the 23-county WNC region. “AdvantageWest pioneered the site certification process to bring greater attention to the world class assets and economic development potential of Western North Carolina,” Hamilton added. “We congratulate Black Mountain Commerce Park for its achievement and for the investment in the economic future of our region.”
Black Mountain Commerce Park offers 57.37 acres, including five level sites that may be subdivided in 10 acre increments. Situated at the intersection of Blue Ridge Road and US Highway 70 in Black Mountain adjacent to Ingles Markets, the site offers long range mountain views and interstate frontage to both the North and South side of Interstate 40. An additional 150 acres are available for buffer or expansion. For additional detail, please visit http://www.blackmountaincp.com/ or call the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville Buncombe County at 828.258.6134.
The EDC for Asheville-Buncombe Countyis a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership and being a resource for better business decisions. The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing & recruitment. The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign.
The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a 2,000 member organization representing 86,000 employees. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Asheville Chamber works diligently to ensure that Asheville continues to prosper while also protecting the natural beauty of the area. In 2006, the Chamber moved to a new location and is now home to the 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes 200,000 visitors per year.
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