Chatham County is a rural county in central North Carolina. Between 2000 and 2010, the population grew by nearly 30%. In spite of a low unemployment rate, the County faces challenged with providing well paying jobs for its educated and skilled workforce. While there are more than 30,000 citizens in the workforce, there are only 15,000 jobs in Chatham County.
Agriculture and manufacturing remain as two of the largest industries in the County.
In 2005, decline in manufacturing accounted for 34% of the job loss in Chatham County. The number of manufacturing jobs lost is greater than the number of new jobs added in 2005.
Because of the lack of good, well paying jobs, many people commute out of the County for work – 55% of the resident labor force commutes out, with commute time for all the workforce averaging 26 minutes. A 2007 study found that residents spend $0.64 of every dollar outside of the County, amounting to a $7.7 million loss in sale tax revenue every year. This retail leakage can be attributed to the number of out-commuters and insufficient commercial and retail development to meet residents’ demands.
Chatham County’s tax base is more than 77 percent residential, about 14 percent agricultural, and less than 9 percent commercial and industrial. This creates major problems. For comparison, Lee County’s tax base is 24.8 percent commercial and industrial, Harnett’s is 11.7 percent, Orange’s is 14.1 percent, Moore’s is 14 percent, Durham’s is 37.9 percent, and Wake’s is 22.3 percent.
A Cost of Community Services Study showed residential development does not pay for itself, generating $1.14 in service demands for every $1 in taxes paid, while commercial development costs only $.33 for every $1 in taxes. The Chatham Board of Commissioners have adopted a goal of increasing the county’s commercial and industrial tax base from 9 to 15 percent over the next ten years. The EDC wholehearted endorses that goal, and is putting the framework in place to accomplish it.
The EDC is a private, non-profit organization based in Pittsboro. We focus on attracting new businesses, retaining and expanding existing businesses and helping entrepreneurs grow.
Let’s look briefly at jobs and annual payroll. The businesses that we worked with last year created 686 jobs, well above the numbers created in the past three years, and reflecting a trend that we hope will continue through this year. These jobs resulted in new annual payroll of more than $17 million.
Looking at capital investment, our clients invested $22.16 million in building and equipment. This figure was eclipsed by significant investment in the previous year but still reflects an upward trend over the previous two years.
Two other measures also show positive trends, as capital investment per dollar of county funding increased over FY10 and 11 (again dwarfed by our extraordinary year in FY12) and county cost per job created declined for the third straight year.
The jobs and investment result from our three focuses: attraction, retention and entrepreneurship.
In terms of attraction, the largest project was the Chatham Walmart, located on 15-501 at the county line. The 148,400 square foot facility will hire more than 300 associates when fully ramped up, and will help the County stem its retail leakage.
A new 20,000 square foot medical facility in Pittsboro, operated by Piedmont Health SeniorCare, provides day care and multidisciplinary services for seniors who choose to live at home as they age.
Strata Solar, one of the top solar providers in America, moved its corporate headquarters to Governors Village in 2013. The company has nearly 100 employees there and 4 full time at its warehouse on Farrington Point Road. With more than 150 MW installed and more than a Gigawatt under development – Strata Solar will continue to grow.
Retention projects were significant last year. Olympic Steel is investing $2 million in its plant in Siler City and will create 65 new jobs.
Brookwood Farms, which cooks and distributes pit-cooked barbecue, undertook an expansion project that will generate 40 new jobs, and developed new contracts with Charlotte Motor Speedway, UNC, and multiple school districts.
In Pittsboro, Donna Bianco purchased and renovated a former Pizza Hut as Bella Donna Italian Restaurant, employing 12 full time and 9 part time staff.
Entrepreneurs also stepped forward to create a variety of new businesses in the county, from auto supply stores to a corn maze to a bed and breakfast to a bakery. Two examples include the Circle City Books and Music and the Pittsboro Roadhouse, both in downtown Pittsboro.
EDC staff and Board – working with planning staff from the County and the towns and with significant public input – developed a conceptual land use plan, unanimously approved by the Commissioners.
This map shows current land use. As you can see, the County is mostly residential.
After several planning sessions with staff from the County and towns, four land use plan scenarios were developed. With input from citizens, we developed a hybrid plan using two of the four original scenarios. The plan – Rural Preservation with Targeted Employment – emphasizes targeted employment growth in the towns and economic development areas, coupled with preservation of farms and rural areas. The two ideas complement one another; by targeting growth in areas that are already developed, rural farmland will continue to thrive.
Three projects, identified in the conceptual land use plan – two in eastern Chatham and one in western Chatham – have the potential to jump start employment growth and transform the balance of the County’s tax base.
The Moncure Megasite is 1,000 acres in southeast Chatham County. While the site is in preliminary planning stages, it shows promise with dual rail service.
This slide shows the property in detail. It has almost a mile of rail frontage on the northeast border and frontage on Highway 64 on the southeast. Preliminary engineering studies indicate that 1,445 acres of the parcel are developable. The property has two owners. Both are committed to selling to an industrial user.
When McCallum-Sweeney presented their findings in late August to over 100 community leaders, Mark Sweeney concluded that this megasite gives the state a potentially strong competitor for an automotive project. This photo shows the rail frontage as well as the view from several locations on site.
We recently launched a website at chathamrandolphmegasite.com. On the site, interested businesses can view facts about the land, maps of transportation infrastructure and utilities and panoramic photos that show different views around the site.
The Chatham-Randolph Megasite is a 1,800 acre property located west of Siler City owned by two individuals. This map shows its location within a 250 mile radius.
In October, Southern Business and Development magazine published a special edition entitled “The Southern Auto Corridor.”
Based on their analysis, the editor selected the Piedmont Triad as the number one spot in the Southern Auto Corridor, noting “Even though there are no rumors to base our pick, we believe that one of the next two automakers announcing Greenfield plants in the corridor will pick a site in the Piedmont Triad.” The magazine also rated the Chatham/Randolph megasite as the third best site in the south for auto assembly. Currently, we’re conducting the engineering and other studies necessary to obtain designation through the North Carolina Certified Site program. We will continue to work with many public and private partners at the local, regional and state level to help prepare and market this site.
Chatham Park, as most of you know, is a 7,100 acre assemblage of land east and south of Pittsboro. The developers have submitted a proposal to the Town of Pittsboro to rezone the property as a Planned Development District. As of January 2014, the town has hired an independent consultant to review the development’s Master Plan with a goal of voting on the zoning in March.
The preliminary transportation plans includes a new interchange on the Highway 64 bypass and roads that would connect various neighborhoods within the development. Design of the bridge for the interchange is underway.
The concept for the master plan calls for locating more intensive commercial uses near the town and highway corridors, with density decreasing as you move away from town and with open spaces preserved along the Haw River to the east.
The land use plan shows one in five acres as green space.
The first two projects are likely to be a UNC medical office building to be constructed across from Northwood High School and a 20 mega-watt solar farm to be constructed southeast of town.
Plans call for an extensive trail system, tied to existing trails, providing access to the river for Chatham Park residents and employees. New Haw River access points are envisioned, including a bluff overlook.
Preliminary ideas for the commercial development are illustrated in these two slides. Development will focus around four walkable neighborhood villages.
At a time when the tech-centered Research Triangle Park is down to its last few hundred acres, Preston Development Company&apos;s Chatham Park stands as a logical complement, providing a future anchor to one of the nation’s fastest growing, economically vibrant and most desirable areas.
These conceptual drawings show the North Village. Chatham Park is ready to develop as a live-work-play site that will promote tech/bio-tech development so that residents have the opportunity for good, well-paying jobs within their neighborhoods.
What does successful economic development mean for you? For residents, a larger and more diverse tax base will relieve the pressures on the residential tax base. There will be easier access to medical facilities, shopping and more, as well as greater opportunities for local employment. For business owners, both the consumer base and employee pool will increase. Both business traffic and business to business opportunities will grow.
Visit our website at www.chathamedc.org for more information. At the bottom of the page, you can sign up for our newsletter.
Joint Elected Officials Meeting March 13, 2014
Chatham County Joint
Elected Officials Meeting
Chatham Economic Development
Corporation Board Member
Chatham Economic Development
Corporation Board Member
• The Need for Economic Development
• The Importance of Education
• EDC Focus and Results to Date
• Current Major Proposed Developments
CHATHAM COUNTY PROFILE
• Square Miles: 709
(#20 largest of 100)
• Population: 63,564
(#40 largest of 100)
• Workforce: 34,168
(#66 largest of 100)
• Number of Jobs: 15,140
(#86 in jobs to workforce ratio)
• Unemployment: 4.4%
(#2 lowest Dec ‘13)
• Average Weekly Wage: $625
(State average $710)
CHATHAM COUNTY INDUSTRIES
• 1,100 farms, largely livestock & poultry
• Generate > $122M tax revenue per year
• Food manufacturing, wood products
• Declining base with loss of poultry plant
•Other: Wholesale, Retail, Construction, Real
Estate, Health Care, Professional & Technical
Services, Social Assistance
PRIVATE SECTOR JOBS DECLINE
• Manufacturing = 34% of Chatham jobs in 2005
• Manufacturing jobs decline > new jobs added since
CHATHAM COUNTY IMPACT
AS A BEDROOM COMMUNITY
• 55% of resident labor force
commutes out of the County.
Average commute is 26 minutes
• $0.64 of every consumer dollar
is spent outside Chatham
• Estimated loss in Chatham
sales tax revenue = $7.7M
Residential $6.5 Billion 77.13%
Present-Use $1.2 Billion 13.92%
Commercial $0.6 Billion 7.49%
Industrial $0.1 Billion 1.46%
Other $0.0 Billion
CHATHAM COUNTY TAX BASE
COST OF COMMUNITY SERVICES
Residential $1 : $1.14
Commercial $1 : $0.33
Farmland $1 : $0.58
CHATHAM PARTNERSHIP MODEL
Chatham County, NC
Chatham County population (2012) 65,976
% persons under age 5 5.3%
% persons under age 18 21.0%
% persons 65 years and over 21.6%
% persons age 5+ speaking other than English at home 13.5%
% persons age 25+ High School graduate or higher 85.5%
% persons age 25+ Bachelor’s degree or higher 36.7%
Median household income $57,793
% persons below poverty level 11.1%
CHATHAM COUNTY K-12
• 17 public schools
• 5 elementary, 5 K-8, 3 middle, 3 high
• 1,213 employees
• Top ranked (#6, #15) high schools in NC
• 3 charter schools also well ranked
• Non-profit support via Chatham Educational
Foundation, Chatham Literacy Council, and
Chatham County Together
• Public, non-profit 2-year college
• Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, Applied
Science, certificate programs, adult education courses
• Campuses in three counties
CENTRAL CAROLINA WORKS
• Collaborative dual enrollment project
• High school students earn college credit from tuition-
free CCCC courses
• 16 UNC campuses and 24 NC private universities
• Texas model: Students twice as likely to enroll in and
complete post-secondary education
NC RANKED FACTORS FOR
COMPANIES LOCATION CHOICE
skilled labor is 50%
higher than the
next ranked factor
ABOUT CHATHAM EDC
The Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is a
private, non-profit organization working to make Chatham
County the preferred location for emerging growth companies.
By attracting new companies, helping existing businesses and
assisting new ventures, the EDC encourages new job creation and
private investment in property and equipment.
EDC RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
EDC RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
EDC RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Capital Investment Per
CHATHAM EDC OBJECTIVES
Target established businesses located outside the county and encourage them to
move into Chatham
Retention and Expansion
Support established businesses within Chatham County, to maintain existing jobs
and help firms grow
Help small businesses locate resources and support, including technical and
marketing assistance and financing sources
A New Zoning
PROPOSED ROAD IN CHATHAM PARK
PROPOSED ROAD OUTSIDE CHATHAM
Locate commercial near
Pittsboro and Highways
Link new neighborhoods to
the Haw River
Commercial, office, medical,
hospitality and retail organized
along Highways 64 & 15-501 and
future 15-501 Bypass
Residential oriented toward
stream valleys, the Haw River and
One in five acres is green
space, primarily along
US 15 / 501
US 64 BYPASS
UNC Medical Office Building
20 Mega Watt Solar Farm
Homes and neighborhoods
organized in four distinct
villages to be developed
separately over time
Each village will have a unique
and walkable village center
WHAT SUCCESSFUL ECONOMIC
•Larger and more diverse
•Easier access to medical
facilities, shopping, etc.
•Greater opportunities for
For Business Owners
•Larger consumer base
and employee pool
•Increased business traffic
•Business to business
April 15:Southeast Chatham Citizen’s
Advisory Council (Moncure Volunteer Fire
Department, 7 p.m.)
April: The Preserve at Jordan Lake
Briar Chapel Clubhouse
Siler City General Public
Pittsboro General Public
Goldston General Public
… AND BEYOND TO FURTHER
• Identify and target:
o Residential Communities & Large Employers
o Specific business groups & institutions
• Engage board members and elected officials
for involvement & support
• We need your help… How would you like to
President, Chatham Economic
Sign up for our newsletter
and stay in touch with