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This circle on the right of the map shows the general location of the Wall Brothers property project — aka, the I-74 Industrial Center — relative to the the City of Randleman, at left. 

I-74 Industrial Center continues to grow

RANDLEMAN — Progress on the Wall Brothers property project, officially known as the I-74 Industrial Center, is picking up pace as more properties have been added to the overall project and property owners have moved to have the entire site annexed into Randleman’s city limits.


The requests were filed with Randleman City Hall on Feb. 9. Property owners participating the annexation request include:

- Neal E. and Linda K. Coltrane at 1537 Commonwealth Road.

- Darrell W. and Angela R. Worley at 4500 Coltrane Cedar Road.

- Matther and Jessica Dix at 4512 Coltrane Cedar Road.

- Timothy and Elizabeth Dix at 4502 Coltrane Cedar Road.

- Christopher Scott and Jaime D. Fearington at 4511 Coltrane Cedar Road.

- Cheryl F. Hill at 4509 Coltrane Cedar Road.

Those properties will be added to the land already under consideration from the Philip Tracy Wall Family Limited Partnership at 4477 Wall Brothers Road. The total size of the project will stand at 336.7 acres on the west side of Randleman, just across the interstate off U.S. 311.


Greg Patton is Randleman’s former planning director, now retired. He continues to work with city government as a private consultant on that and other matters. 


Patton said the Randleman Board of Aldermen is expected to announce the petition for annexation at the May board meeting. A public hearing on the annexation will likely be scheduled for June.


Depending on the number of items on that month’s agenda, the hearing may or may not happen at the regular monthly meeting of the board, Patton said. June will be a busy month as board members must also consider the approval the city’s budget for the 2024-25 fiscal year.


Patton said if the board decides to schedule the hearing later in the month, residents will be given plenty of notice and the hearing will be open to the public.


He added that the annexation request involves only those properties listed above. It will not include another properties adjacent to the I-74 Industrial Center project. 


Project genesis

The I-74 Industrial Center project has been in the works for several years.


In 2013, Duke Energy announced in a press release that it had chosen the roughly 200-acre tract of former farmland to participate in its Site Readiness Program to prepare the farm for potential industrial development. Duke Energy’s Site Readiness Program is designed to help communities served by the utility compete for new companies and jobs.


At that time, Duke Energy planners said they would assess the land for its strengths for specific target industries. The goal was to recommend road improvements, easements and rights-of-way that would be required to develop the site, as well as steps necessary to mitigate any potential environmental impacts.


In 2021, the utility company announced the Wall Brothers property was one of nine properties in eight counties across the state selected for further development and enhancement.


“Strategically located just off Interstate 74, (with) a connector to I-85 within 15 miles, this site is easily accessible to major markets,” developers stated. “Substantial on-site utilities include power, natural gas and water, and planning is under way and funds have been identified to extend sewer to the site. With a flexible layout, this park can accommodate manufacturing and/or distribution buildings ranging in size from 50,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet.”


In an interview, Patton said the increased size of the project now means the site can accommodate 1 million square feet under roof.


In 2022, Randolph Hub reported that Randolph County commissioners voted unanimously to purchase 30 acres of the proposed park to qualify for eligibility for utility grants to offset the infrastructure costs of sewer extension to the site. The board also authorized contracting with the N.C. Department of Transportation for improvements to upgrade Wall Brothers Road to industrial standards. The county’s investment came to $1,050,000.


At the same time, commissioners authorized a grant application of up to $1 million from the N.C. Industrial Development Fund to extend sewer lines to the site. The total cost of the sewer project at the time was estimated at $6,862,800. The county planned to use $5,862,800 from the Coronavirus Recovery Fund to cover the additional cost.


Recent developments

Randolph County Economic Development Corp. has been involved with the project since its inception. Kevin Franklin, EDC president, said the area involved has recently been rezoned to light industrial. Patton said that is I-1 in Randleman’s zoning ordinances.


“Design for water and sewer extensions to serve the property is complete. Easement acquisition is well under way, and we expect both projects to go out for bid within the next few months,” Franklin said in an email correspondence.


Franklin said Randleman will be responsible for the water project and Randolph County will manage the wastewater project. He said that ultimately both the water and sewer upgrades will be owned and operated by Randleman.


As for who the potential end user will be, no one is saying.


“As you know, we regularly field inquiries from prospective clients considering Randolph County,” Franklin said, “but we are unable to elaborate on any specific project, client, or site activity.”