KNIGHTDALE One of Wake County’s oldest quarry companies wants to take a leap into the development business by starting on a roughly 28-acre industrial park in Knightdale, right off Interstate 540.
Wake Stone has been working with town staff for a few months now to develop the town’s first industrial park and large-scale warehouse space. It will be one of the larger efforts to create warehouse space the Triangle has seen in the past few years, Wake Stone vice president Tom Oxholm said.
“It’s going to be a big risk,” Oxholm said. “We have confidence Knightdale is up and coming (though).”
As Knightdale’s first large industrial park and warehouse space, the process for approving the project has been long. The town doesn’t have any regulations governing industrial space in its Unified Development Ordinance.
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The land, behind the Army National Reserve Building on Hinton Oaks Boulevard is owned by Wake Stone and isn’t technically within town limits. Eventually, Oxholm said, Wake Stone will annex the land into Knightdale limits so the town can reap the tax benefits.
Oxholm said early estimates show the town could stand to collect between $150,000 to $160,000 in tax revenue from the project once it is complete.
Wake Stone has room about about four 75,000- to 100,000-square-foot warehouses along the west side of Hinton Oaks Boulevard. There is also room for a smaller 23,000-square-foot warehouse on the east side of the road.
Oxholm said there is a “targeted tenant” for the smallest warehouse, but nothing has been finalized.
According to emails from Mayor Russell Killen obtained through a public records request, Oxholm was concerned at one point that his company might lose a tenant because he was having trouble scheduling a meeting with town staff and town attorney Beth Trahos, to approve a development agreement draft in late August.
The effort will start with building up the infrastructure, which could cost up to $3 million. Actual pricing will depend on construction prices.
The larger warehouses, which will have about three acres of interior space and be about seven acres including outside requirements, will cost about $6 to $7 million, Oxholm said.
“(The warehouses) are expensive, but not fancy,” he said. It will require water allocation from the town but other than that, will use only a minimal amount of the town’s resources.
All four warehouses will not be built at once, but will be built out as they are needed.
In addition to contributing to the town’s development, the project is a strategic move by the company to protect future endeavors.
The land was originally bought in 2007 as a buffer to Wake Stone’s Knightdale quarry.
Oxholm said putting warehouses on the land will protect the buffer, since the company anticipates the land that is currently part of the buffer to be a good place to expand a quarry for another 200 years.
The company doesn’t want residents or high-volume business buildings near the buffer, but having the empty land was getting expensive.
The warehouses will be leased to companies and Wake Stone will still own the land. Oxholm said the company would “never” sell the land that makes up its buffer.
In addition to the buildings, Wake Stone will be responsible for building the infrastructure to access the buildings. That will include an extension of Hinton Oaks Boulevard, which will initially be built to go past the second warehouse.