Ask a Broker
If you’re a real estate investor wondering how you can get in on all of the action surrounding the 19-county area that makes up the Carolina Core brand, you’re not alone. That swath of land in the center of our state is attracting attention from manufacturers of all sizes as well as the companies that support them in various ways. It all means that there are plenty of opportunities for investing if you know which product types and geographic areas to focus on.
What the Carolina Core Is
As we know from our Lay of the Land article on growth within the Carolina Core, this branding campaign focuses on the US Highway 421 corridor stretching from Wilkesboro to Fayetteville and Pinehurst. It also includes counties in the northern part of our state. The Carolina Core brand was developed as a way to promote the corridor to businesses looking to expand or relocate in one of the megasites in the region.
Land is Still Available
That effort has more than paid off over the past couple of years with high-profile companies, most of which are manufacturing, announcing that they’re coming to the area. Despite the increased attention, Regional Economic Development Director for the Carolina Core Loren Hill says there’s still plenty of land available for businesses and real estate investors. “We are not by any stretch of the imagination sold out.”
The Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site has more than 1,400 acres remaining; the Piedmont Triad International Airport has more than 900 acres available; and the Person County Mega Park has more than 1,350 acres available.
Hill also points out that the megasites are only part of the story. “There are still 200-300-acre parcels of land all throughout the Core.” For some of those smaller sites, local economic development partnerships and other partners are working to make sure that they are set with the infrastructure they need to be ready for businesses to come in.
Biggest Real Estate Investment Opportunities
Given those conditions, many investors are wondering where the biggest real estate opportunities are right now. Our brokers and Hill are sharing their insights on what those are.
We're low on speculative buildings. Having those available helps when a company says we need to be in six months. If you have a building that is already built, sitting there just needing upfitting and fine tuning, suitable for their needs, that's the best-case scenario and why we need more speculative buildings.
I am seeing an increase in the need for warehouse space in and around each megasite. I am also seeing the most activity in land development for single family homes, townhomes, and apartments in Asheboro, Sanford, and Siler City. It’s important to keep in mind that for each employee at VinFast, WolfSpeed, and the Toyota Battery Plant, four employees are needed for suppliers. That’s a lot of people that will need homes and other support services.
We have several industrial centers in their infancy. They are just now being built and will create more momentum. Included among them are a lot of logistics facilities being built in both the part of Orange County that lies at the edge of the Carolina Core and in southeastern Alamance County. Logistics includes both warehouse and distribution centers and the need for both of those is great.
The biggest areas for current growth in Orange County stretch along the interstate corridor from Hillsborough, and thru Efland and Buckhorn. The Buckhorn Economic Development District was triggered several years ago when we helped assemble the site for Medline Industries to build a 1.2 million square foot distribution center. That facility is now open providing the momentum for additional site announcements. We expect this additional industrial square footage to create significant job and corporate opportunities in our community. Mebane has been a good partner in this effort.
How to ask us a question
Our brokers and other partnering commercial real estate experts will be answering your questions every month through the Ask a Broker series. If you have a commercial real estate question that you want answered, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.