- ALLEN TURNER
Southeastern Regional Industrial Park now triple-certified for food, beverage
The Southeastern Regional Industrial Park west of Whiteville has received a “shovel-ready” designation for the food and beverage industry from Duke Energy and Austin Consulting. Gary Lanier, economic developer for the county, said that a Dec. 30 letter confirmed the certification. “The Southeastern Regional Park graded out as the top site for certification among all sites considered across six states served by Duke Energy,” Lanier said. With the new certification, the park becomes the only triple-certified park in the state. It previously received similar certifications from Garner Economics and Primus Builders and from the N.C. Department of Commerce. “Austin Consulting is confident that food and beverage industry operations can make a determination that your site is compatible for major food and beverage uses based on a review of the comprehensive information contained in (your) Shovel Ready Report,” the letter reads. In deciding to award the certification, Austin Consulting examined more than 200 variables in six major categories: ownership, property, transportation, utility, community and environmental. Frank Spano and Victoria Ung of Austin Consulting reported that a company interested in locating in the park “can significantly decrease the amount of time and risks during the site selection process by reviewing detailed information in the Shovel Ready Report.” Lanier said that determination is crucial because Austin Consulting, which issued the most recent certification, and Garner Economics, which issued a similar certification last year, are two of the top site selection groups in the nation specializing in food and beverage site selection activities.