Monday, June 17, 2024

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Trucking and freight terminal, two large warehouses planned for 134 acres along Buckhorn Road near I-85/40

Mebane planning board members will hear two rezoning requests Monday night that would allow two big projects to be built on about 134 acres along Buckhorn Road, which is within Mebane’s extraterritorial jurisdiction but just over the Alamance County line, in western Orange County.

Mebane’s city council is currently scheduled to consider a petition for contiguous annexation of the same properties at its July 1 meeting.

[Story continues below photos.]

Shown above is an R+L Carriers facility in Savannah, Georgia.
The dark purple area adjacent to I-85/40 is the 84.756 acres proposed for heavy industrial zoning – for the truck and freight terminal – while the lighter purple is 49.267 acres being proposed for light industrial zoning. The latter would have two large warehouses totaling 526,380 square feet.
This rendering shows the truck terminal (at top, on the larger, 84,756-acre tract) while two warehouses totaling 526,380 square feet (233,740 and 292,640 square feet, respectively) would be on the back portion of the property (49.267 acres) facing West Ten Road.

Heavy industrial: 84.756 acres, trucking and freight terminal

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The applicant, Orange County Investors Partnership, and developer R+L Carriers, which has its corporate headquarters in Wilmington, Ohio, are requesting heavy manufacturing/conditional rezoning that would allow for the construction of a trucking and freight terminal on 83.37 acres at 508 and 510 Buckhorn Road, just off I-40/85.

That site is located within one of Orange County’s three economic development districts (EDD), established for more than 900 acres in the early 1980s as part of an effort to attract non-residential development in those areas, according to a report that the city’s staff has prepared for the planning board’s discussion Monday night.  Water/sewer infrastructure and gas lines were extended to the property more than a decade ago, according to Orange County officials.

The truck terminal would span approximately 135,950 square feet and have 202 doors; the preliminary plan for that project also calls for construction of 7,500 square feet of office space, a maintenance building, as well as parking for 320 employees and 296 truck parking spaces.  A future building could span about 53,000 square feet, based on the preliminary site plan.


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Light industrial: two warehouses with 526,380 square feet

The second rezoning request is to rezone five parcels totaling 49.25 acres along Buckhorn Road for light manufacturing/conditional use.  The site, at an unaddressed location within the 700 block of Buckhorn Road, is situated within the same “Buckhorn EDD” designated by Orange County.

The plans call for construction of a “warehouse distribution facility” spanning 233,740 square feet and fronting West Ten Road, with parking for 142 employees and up to 46 loading bays.  A second warehouse facility would be built directly behind the first and span 292,640 square feet, with parking for 189 employees, based on the preliminary site plan.

Mebane’s planning staff noted that the Medline Distribution Center is zoned for light manufacturing, and a nearby industrial development approved for Thermo Fisher Scientific, is also zoned for light manufacturing/conditional district.

A Petro truck stop is across Buckhorn Road from the proposed trucking and freight terminal.
Medline’s distribution center at 5511 West Ten Road, Mebane, is next to a portion of the proposed site of the heavy industrial zoning.
Thermo-Fisher Scientific (shown here while still under construction) is across West Ten Road from the back side of the proposed development.

The surrounding properties are zoned for currently surrounded by residential, commercial, and light industrial uses, as well as vacant land, based on the staff report.

A traffic study showed that several road improvements would be needed for both projects, including separate entrances and exits, as well as dedicated left-turn and right-turn lanes, based on documents that the planning board will review Monday night.

The staff report  describes the current land use for the truck terminal as “existing flea market; otherwise, vacant and wooded.”

Two gas stations, as well as the Petro truck stop, are located directly west of the property being eyed for the truck terminal development.  Another large warehouse complex with about 1 million square feet (in five separate buildings) is already under construction and is located across Buckhorn Road from the proposed R+L Carriers development.

Mebane’s planning staff has determined that both projects would be consistent with the city’s long-range land-use plans, according to their report for the planning board.

Mebane’s planning board will take up the rezoning requests for both projects at its Monday, June 10 meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

R+L’s plans for Mebane would apparently be the company’s fifth location in North Carolina.  Late last year, R+L Carriers announced the opening of a new service center in Greensboro. This new facility joined the China Grove (Charlotte), Lumberton, and Wilson locations, becoming the company’s fourth service center in the state.

R+L Carriers is a family-owned business with 25,000 tractors and trailers, 16,000 employees, and 140 service centers across the country.

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