A 55-acre parcel of vacant land zoned for industrial use along Truby Drive, behind the Flying J truck stop and along I-85/40 on the edge of Graham, has been sold to Al Neyer, a major developer in the commercial real estate industry headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio with an office in Raleigh.
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According to plans filed with the city of Graham, Al Neyer envisions a 579,000-square-foot warehouse building on the property. Alamance County, especially Mebane and Graham, have increasingly attracted distribution centers for national companies.
The Hawfields area has the county’s largest industrial park, home to Walmart, Lidl, and Amazon distribution centers, as well as a huge UPS distribution center now under construction facing I-85/40.
The Graham property has a Haw River address but is located within the city of Graham’s extra-territorial jurisdiction. The property is already zoned for light industrial use, which is the rezoning required for a warehouse or distribution center.
Workmen began cutting in a road into the heavily-forested property from Truby Drive last week and estimate it will take about one year to complete construction.
The company, which often builds large spec buildings without having secured a specific tenant in advance, does not yet have a tenant for its Graham building, The Alamance News was told.
Meanwhile, Al Neyer has also cut a road into another local site, along Buckhorn and Mattress Factory roads adjacent to I-85/40 near the Buckhorn Road exit in Mebane, where its plans are to build five buildings totaling 980,200 square feet.
And the first Al Neyer project, two large industrial buildings at the corner of Buckhorn and West Ten roads appear largely complete on the outside, with finishing work beginning inside.
One of the tenants will be Thermo Fisher Scientific, which has signed up for the larger, 375,000-square-foot building.
Justin Parker, vice president of real estate development for Al Neyer’s Raleigh office, had not responded to inquiries from The Alamance News by press time.
An affiliate of Al Neyer, Truby Drive Industrial I LLC, purchased the Graham property from Second Partners, LLC in Burlington, which is owned by developer Jack Burton, for $3.3 million in late June, according to documents filed with Alamance County’s Register of Deeds to consummate the transaction. Truby Drive Industrial I was established as an LLC in April of this year, according to the Secretary of State’s office.
Al Neyer announced last fall its plans to build a 375,000-square-foot facility on the eastern edge of Mebane, just over the county line in western Orange County, for Thermo Fisher Scientific, a Fortune 100 company that has secured a $192.5 million contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to develop “pipette tips” for the medical diagnostic market.
A second building on the same site has about 300,000 square feet, based on plans originally approved by Mebane’s city council in early 2021.
Mebane’s city council last fall approved rezoning for 980,200 square feet of warehouse space in five buildings that Al Neyer plans to build on 128 acres along I-85/40 between Buckhorn and West Ten roads, behind the Petro truck stop at the Buckhorn Road exit.
Apartments project on same site last year didn’t pan out last year
Just a year ago, the same Graham acreage was under consideration for a major apartment complex, although city officials said there was inadequate sewer service in the area to support the magnitude of apartments (528 in 22 buildings) being proposed.
Industrial use requires far less sewer capacity (than residential), and city officials indicated this week that they do not see a conflict in Al Neyer’s plans for the site.
The property is at the end of Truby Drive, a two-lane road beside Graham’s Days Inn off Jimmie Kerr Road near two truck stops at the Jimmie Kerr Road exit (on the opposite side of the interstate from Alamance Community College). Much of the acreage faces I-85/40.
Originally, Travers Webb of Graham was the spokesman for the large apartment project, but John Burton and his brother Jack Burton who owned part of the property subsequently bought it all, and removed Webb from his role as a spokesman for anything at that site.
Meanwhile, Webb approached the city about a separate apartment complex on 11 acres beside the Days Inn, but city officials still raised the problem of inadequate sewer capacity to support such a project. While the rezoning was ultimately granted later last fall, on a 3-2 vote, no project has yet been submitted.
Meanwhile, the Burtons withdrew their request for any zoning change on their 55-acre site.
During intervening months last year, their attorney, Amanda Hodierne, had also alluded to the possibility of revising the multi-family rezoning request to provide some mixed use commercial in addition to apartments, but it was withdrawn altogether.
Jack Burton alluded at the time to the possibility of some future industrial development.
See more economic development news in this week’s edition – on the eastern side of Mebane, in western Orange County: https://alamancenews.com/900000-sq-ft-of-warehouse-space-proposed-for-orange-county-side-of-mebane/