Editor's note: This article was last updated Aug. 20 at 7:33 p.m.

BEAUFORT — At their Monday evening regular session at the administration building on Court House Square, county commissioners listened to details about preliminary plans to convert a significant portion of Radio Island into an industrial park.

“We know that Radio Island is one of the most unique opportunities for port-related economic development,” Carteret Economic Development Director Don Kirkman said. “Not just in Carteret County or North Carolina, but for the entire U.S. East Coast.”

Spearheaded by Duke Energy, the proposal is part of the company’s Duke Energy Site Readiness Program. The program, according to Mr. Kirkman, is a means to prepare sites like Radio Island to host industrial parks.

“The goal of the program is to identify sites that have economic development potential,” Mr. Kirkman said. “Then to do an assessment of those sites to determine what needs to be done.”

Duke Energy has spearheaded similar projects that have led to industrial parks that serve companies like Boeing, Bridgestone and BMW, among others. In Carteret County, Duke Energy has retained South Carolina-based Strategic Development Group to complete a preliminary survey of Radio Island.

“The site selection firm that was involved in the Radio Island site is one of the leading site location advisory firms in the country,” Mr. Kirkman said. “It’s a group of out Greenville, S.C.”

The firm analyzed a number of relevant topics, including zoning, soil types, available infrastructure, topography and other factors, according to Mr. Kirkman.

“It’s reasonably easy to develop from a topographical standpoint,” he said, later adding there are also maritime benefits to the location. “It is 4 miles from the open ocean…that is why it is particularly appealing and there is no obstruction, no bridges, no overpasses between Radio Island and the open ocean.”

The N.C. Port Authority is the current owner of the property. Mr. Kirkman told county commissioners that, as of now, plans are to lease land instead of purchasing outright.

The proposed industrial park site is 141 acres and lies to the west of Marine Road. In his presentation, Mr. Kirkman said the site is within Morehead City’s town limits and not their extra-territorial jurisdiction.

Project officials have yet to apprise Morehead City officials to the same degree they have county officials, despite the property being within town limits, according to city officials.

“I’m all for development,” Morehead City Councilman Harvey Walker said. “I need to learn more about it.”

Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones echoed Mr. Walker.

“I do not want to inquire about it, but I do need to get more information,” Mr. Jones said.

Although Mr. Kirkman presented the project to county commissioners, he admitted the county would have limited oversight relative to Morehead City.

“There really is not a county role in the actual permitting or development,” Mr. Kirkman said.

Preliminary plans for the site include three main development areas that can be configured into three buildings totaling 525,000 square feet or three buildings totaling 702,000 square feet. Both layouts include parking and water accesses.

Duke Energy could donate an additional $10,000 if plans to prepare the site for an industrial park move forward. If an industrial park is constructed, Duke Energy could also be in the running to be a vendor to provide services there.

Monday’s presentation touched on the energy requirements of the proposed industrial park. The presentation states organizers should plan ahead for loads beyond a 2.5 megawatt threshold.

“(Organizers) need to consider setting aside acreage for (a) substation within (the) park,” reads Monday’s presentation materials.

The plan also calls for a traffic analysis of the two main thoroughfares, Radio Island Road and Marine Drive.

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

(Previous report)

BEAUFORT — At their Monday evening regular session at the administration building on Court House Square, county commissioners listened to details about preliminary plans to convert a significant portion of Radio Island into an industrial park.

Spearheaded by Duke Energy, the proposal is part of the company’s Duke Energy Site Readiness Program. The program, according to County Economic Development Director Don Kirkman, is a means to prepare sites like Radio Island to host industrial parks.

“The goal of the program is to identify sites that have economic development potential,” Mr. Kirkman said. “Then to do an assessment of those sites to determine what needs to be done.”

Duke Energy has spearheaded similar projects that have led to industrial parks that serve companies like Boeing, Bridgestone and BMW, among others. In Carteret County, Duke Energy has retained South Carolina-based Strategic Development Group to complete a preliminary survey of Radio Island.

The N.C. Port Authority is the current owner of the property. Mr. Kirkman told county commissioners that, as of now, plans are to lease land instead of purchasing outright. The proposed site is 141 acres and lies to the west of Marine Road. In his presentation, Mr. Kirkman said the site is within Morehead City’s town limits and not their extra-territorial jurisdiction.

Although Mr. Kirkman presented the project to county commissioners, he admitted the county would have limited oversight relative to Morehead City.

“There really is not a county role in the actual permitting or development,” Mr. Kirkman said.

Preliminary plans for the site include three main development areas that can be configured into three buildings totaling 525,000 square feet or three buildings totaling 702,000 square feet. Both layouts include parking and water accesses.

This is a developing report. 

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

(9) comments

the secret life of man

If the city has limited input on development and the county has less input then we the people of this area will probably be ignored what we feel about having a much larger industrial polutional in the middle coast of our county. let the environmental eyesore attract our tourist economy.Have you seen the Norfolk Va waterfront?Its ugly polluted and sinking!


sonsofPepe

Fewer locust (tourists) coming here which means less traffic and more? Sounds good to me.




PINEYPOINTER

u can always go where u were before you came here


Kevin Lassiter

It's to bad we can't use a few expletives. To heck with the tourist economy and tourist. I hope they come in here with their park and shove it right down your throat.


Kevin Lassiter

All anyone ever talks about in this town is how EVERYTHING is going to hurt the precious environment of Carteret County and its tourist industry. Frankly, I'd love to see some major industry come into the area. Something that would provide jobs of any kind more so than what there currently is. As far as tourism is concerned, I wish it would die.




boris

Interesting. Hopefully it's something that will promote and support off shore drilling.


Kevin Lassiter

I second this. Put a rig out there about 5 miles of shore like they have over in Sakhalin 1. We need much more than tourism to support our local economy. If I never saw another ********* tourist I be very happy.


PINEYPOINTER

put some shad factories over there.Anything to keep the tourist away and maybe the non local to move.


D Snow

A few negative aspects:



- The (2) lane high rise bridge needs to be upgraded to (4) lanes first



- The Radio Island portion of US Hwy 70 will have to be reworked *again* to accommodate the additional traffic in/out of this new industrial park.







Some positive aspects:



- Existing railroad access



- GREAT location for additional mooring/berthing (along the West side)



- NC State Port Authority already owns the land



- potential for more YEAR-ROUND, NON-TOURISM-based jobs







It'll be interesting to see the impact study, and proposed road changes.







Oh- and you nay-sayers..... take a look at the port area in Tampa. They have fused it all rather well.


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