Something To Brag About: Holly Ridge Eyes Progress For Industrial Park As Population Grows

Sep 14, 2021

Camp Davis Industrial Park
Camp Davis Industrial Park in Holly Ridge picture curtsey of StarNews

Story by: Chase Jordan, posted on 

After welcoming new businesses to the Camp Davis Industrial Park, Holly Ridge officials are looking forward to starting the next chapter with a real estate firm and contractors.

“We’re really excited about it,” Holly Ridge mayor Jeff Wenzel said. “Things still need to fall into place and things need to happen for the project to be successful. We’re excited about the potential for Camp Davis phase two and what it can do for the Town of Holly Ridge.”

During an August meeting, the town council approved to use the services of Cape Fear Commercial to find companies to fill spaces for the second phase. The Wilmington-based business marketed and sold more than $500 million in commercial and industrial properties in the past 15 years. This includes more than $175 million in large land tracts. Cape Fear Commercial has worked with Island Park in Castle Hayne, North Kerr Industrial Park, and other locations in the metro area.

“We’ve had a couple of interested parties and Cape Fear commercial is there to work with those interested parties to hopefully turn those into letters of commitments at some point,” said Town Manager Heather Reynolds about the future of the industrial park in Holly Ridge.

Reynolds said she’s excited about the industrial park and bringing additional industries to Holly Ridge.

“One of the overall main objectives of our town council is so that people who live here can also work here in Holly Ridge, and not have to leave in order to go to other communities to work,” Reynolds said.

Located off U.S. 17 between Jacksonville and Wilmington, phase one consists of 60 acres in Onslow County and is home to several businesses. In the spring and summer, town officials held groundbreaking ceremonies for Atlantic Seafood and Blue Water Candy.

Officials said the development of phase two, which will also be 60 acres, is expected to create hundreds of new jobs.

In addition to working with Cape Fear Commercial, town officials are looking for contractors, firms and organizations for construction services such as road construction, grading, site preparation, stormwater structures, and water systems.

Reynolds hopes to receive bids by Friday, Sept. 17. The expected cost of construction could be $1.5 million or higher because of the economy.

“It will probably take about eight or nine months to have everything installed,” Reynolds said. “We’re hoping that it will go that smoothly.”

Industrial Park vital for growing town
According to census numbers, Wenzel said Holly Ridge is the fourth fastest growing area in North Carolina. From 2010 to 2020, the population increased from 1,268 to 4,171 — a 229% jump.

“For the next 10 years, we can brag about that,” he said. “It’s not only a matter of residency growing, but we’re really excited that industry is continuing to grow as well.”

For a town that’s considered a bedroom community, Wenzel said developments such as the industrial park will add to workforce numbers. It’s something that he calls an “organic slow growing methodology.” Like Reynolds, he also said it’s important for residents to have a place to work nearby.

“Many people live here, but don’t necessarily work here,” he said. “They’re going to Hampstead, Wilmington, and Jacksonville to work. As we attract more businesses to start up or relocate to Holly Ridge, then more and more people that live here, will actually work here.

“The way that this will continue to grow in Holly Ridge is that when larger industries come, entrepreneurs will see there’s many opportunities,” Wenzel continued. “There will be more restaurants and there will be more banks and there will be more small businesses. Entrepreneurs will see the opportunity to fill a need that’s in Holly Ridge.”

One of those needs is another gas station. Residents and officials are looking forward to a Circle K coming to town soon. Work is underway and it’s expected to be the town’s second and the largest gas station. Wenzel said it’ll be nice to have another alternative on U.S. 17 for residents and motorists.

“They started clearing the land three weeks ago and it looks like they’re installing the infrastructure for the tanks for the fuel,” he said. “They’re moving pretty quickly now that the land has been cleared. I assume that they’ll be open in a few months at the pace they’re going.”

View the original story on the Star News website.