Mebane is weighing a plan to build more massive warehouses in Orange County

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A Winston-Salem developer wants to build 900,000 square feet of warehouse and light industrial space in two buildings on West Ten Road in Orange County.

Brought

Next month, the Mebane City Council may get its first look at nearly 1 million square feet of additional warehouse space planned for a rural road in west Orange County.

Williams Development Group, based in Winston-Salem, wants to build two warehouses — one 300,000 square feet and the other 600,000 square feet — on nearly 74 acres in the 4000 block of West Ten Road.

No potential tenants have been identified for the site known as “Project Skywalker.”

The city’s Planning Board will learn more about the project on Monday, Aug. 8, and it could go before the board on Sept. 12 for an annexation hearing. The council will have to redevelop the area to allow for light industrial use. A hearing on the review of development projects has not been scheduled.

The submitted plan shows that the buildings could be surrounded by parking lots with 811 regular spaces and 196 trailer storage spaces. Three ponds are planned for the drainage of stormwater.

Williams Development has the mostly flat, wooded land south of Interstates 85 and 40 under contract. Although the site has no streams, it is located in the Upper Ino watershed and Lake Falls, Mebane city officials said.

The site is across the street from Bushey-Cook Road and about a mile east of the Medline distribution center that opened earlier this year. The Soccer.com County Complex and Gravelly Hill High School are located to the west surrounded by single-family homes.

West Ten warehouse.jpg
A Winston-Salem developer wants to build 900,000 square feet of warehouse and light industrial space in two buildings on West Ten Road in Orange County. The city of Mebane Brought

Composition, growth of light industry

All but a corner of the site is located in Orange County’s Buckhorn Economic Development District, a 900-acre site zoned more than 40 years ago for commercial and industrial growth.

Orange County and Mebane have worked together for several years to bring water and sewer to the area. Additional commercial developments are being completed or started to the west, near the intersection of West Ten and Buckhorn roads.

Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher Scientific is the first announced tenant in the new Buckhorn Industrial Park under construction at 6016 West Ten Road. The 46-acre industrial park site has been approved for 675,000 square feet of warehouse and light manufacturing space in two buildings.

The park’s developer, Al Neyer, also received approval last year to build a 115-acre light industrial park at I-85/40 and Buckhorn Road, behind the Petro Terminal.

The Buckhorn Business Center could have five light industrial and warehouse buildings, as well as a new fire station. The Mebane City Council approved a zoning change for the project and annexed the site on Nov. 1. It is awaiting final permits, a Mebane planning official said.

Map of OC Buckhorn Districts-CITAN.jpg
Orange County has the 900-acre Buckhorn Economic Development District (in lavender) set aside between Efland and Mebane to accommodate manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail and services. Smaller Commercial-Industrial Transition Nodes or CITANs (in purple) are designed for future retail, commercial, manufacturing and other industrial uses. Orange County Brought

Orange County planning officials also approved a 100-acre light industrial and warehouse project at 304 Mount Wheeling Road in Efland, just around the corner from the Skywalker project site.

The newly approved Efland Industrial Park is outside the Buckhorn EDD but is zoned for offices, light industry and warehouses. It was proposed after Texas-based Buc-ee’s withdrew its bid to build a stop at the site in 2020.

Kerry-based Oppidan Development is behind the new project, which could include four buildings totaling 876,000 square feet. The existing zoning only required the developer to get planners’ approval that it meets the county’s development, environmental and building standards.

​​​​​​​While several road improvements are planned as a result of pending developments, the NC Department of Transportation is taking a closer look at whether to add traffic signals to the on- and off-ramps at Buckhorn Road and I-85/40, Mebane staff reported.

NCDOT staff could also take a closer look at the intersection of West Ten Road and Mt.Willing Road in the future.

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Tammy Grubb has written about politics, people and government in Orange County since 2010. She is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and has lived and worked in the Triangle for over 25 years.



Mebane is weighing a plan to build more massive warehouses in Orange County

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