Big businesses will soon have another reason to visit Cary.
The N.C. Economic Development Partnership plans to move into an existing space at 15000 Weston Parkway in Cary early next month.
Created by Gov. Pat McCrory in June as the state’s first public-private economic development agency, the partnership will assist the state Department of Commerce in recruiting and retaining jobs and businesses.
State officials have said the partnership will give them a more flexible approach to recruiting businesses without some of the restrictions imposed by state law, which, for example, prevents officials from picking up the tab at a lunch meeting.
“With this new approach, our business recruiters will be able to respond to companies faster,” McCrory said in a statement in June. “We’ll be able to help existing companies grow and recruit new companies that are considering locating in North Carolina.”
About 60 partnership employees will work out of the Cary office.
State officials chose the 12,000-square-foot space on Weston Parkway because of its proximity to the airport, major highways and hotels, said commerce department spokesman Graham Wilson.
“It’s the Cary story: a great location,” he said.
The department also considered other locations in the Triangle, said John Lassiter, chairman of the partnership’s board of directors.
But “the location on Weston was convenient, near the airport and had a good rate,” he said.
Cary, the third most-populous town in the Triangle, is already known for attracting big corporations and tech jobs.
Last year, MetLife agreed to invest $85 million to build an office on Weston Parkway that will serve about 1,300 employees.
An IT and engineering services firm is considering bringing another 1,200 jobs to Cary over the next three years, according to town officials who declined to disclose the identity of the company.
The state’s newest agency will raise Cary’s stature even higher, Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said.
“Whenever someone is considering economic development in North Carolina, the first place they’ll see and think about is Cary,” he said. “That’s a huge advantage for us.”
It’s unclear how soon the partnership will start wheeling and dealing out of its new digs.
The agency, which operates as a nonprofit, must raise at least $250,000 from private donors before receiving its first $17.5 million annual appropriation from the state. The partnership is still in the hiring process.