Buyer sought for industrial building

Published 2:06 am Friday, January 25, 2008

By Staff
Quick Start II raises stakes in the effort to lure new industry
Managing Editor
The latest lure to attract new industry to Beaufort County has drawn a few nibbles, but has yet to land the big fish.
With the exception of paving a parking lot, construction is complete on Quick Start II, the second of two industrial shell buildings at the Beaufort County Industrial Park. However, the downturn in the economy may have buyers holding back on purchasing the $2.4 million building.
The 50,000-square-foot concrete structure was built — on speculation — to attract an industry that wants to relocate or expand but doesn’t want to wait months or years for a building to be constructed. The industrial park’s first spec building was sold in the summer of 2006, within about 18 months of breaking ground for the structure.
That doesn’t mean buyers aren’t looking.
One Fortune 500 company, which Thompson wouldn’t name, was looking at the building while it was being built. A committee determined the corporation was serious enough about buying the building that it decided to paint the building with that company’s colors in the hopes that might seal the deal.
It didn’t.
Thompson dismissed the blue-on-blue color scheme as fixable if a buyer prefers a different hue.
The repainting cost would be between $20,000 to $30,000, which Thompson considers a small price for a building valued at nearly $2.4 million.
Quick Start II raises the stakes for Beaufort County when it comes to attracting new industry. It cost $1 million more than Quick Start I. It is 10,000 square feet larger. Instead of being built with metal walls, it’s got concrete walls.
The county has $800,000 in cash tied up in the building, and it borrowed the rest of the money needed to build the structure from the N.C. Department of Commerce. One loan was for $982,000, and the other was for $400,000. Each has a five-year term with a 2-percent interest rate.
County Manager Paul Spruill isn’t worried about paying off the loan.
Quick Start I cost about $1.4 million and has 40,000-square-feet of space. It was sold — almost as soon as it was completed — to a company that makes greenhouses.
There are other spec buildings available in eastern North Carolina, but Quick Start II is unique, Thompson said.
That allows the buyer to customize the floor plan for the office areas.