Chatham Park hires planner, business recruiter

Preston Development Company added two new employees this week to help guide its development of Chatham Park, a 7,200-acre planned development east of Pittsboro that’s expected to add millions of square feet of commercial space along with thousands of new homes.

Charles R. “Chuck” Smith will oversee design throughout Chatham Park. He will also continue his role as planning and landscape architecture director with Withers & Ravenal, a Cary-based engineering firm. He has also served as chairman of the North Carolina Board of Landscape Architects for the last two years.

Ken Atkins will oversee economic development for Chatham Park. Formerly vice president of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and executive director of Wake County Economic Development, Atkins has been credited with helping bring companies like Red Hat, Met Life and Citrix Systems to the area.

Atkins will work in conjunction with the developers and the Chatham County Economic Development Corporation to recruit businesses to Chatham Park, which “aims to be a magnet for well-paying jobs in the technology, biotech, and clean tech sectors,” Preston Development co-owner Julian “Bubba” Rawl is quoted as saying in a press release.

These hires come a few weeks after Preston Development opened an office in downtown Pittsboro to meet with curious citizens and potential investors.