Come October, one of the newest employers in Hope Mills will be the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Although the USPS hasn’t released staffing numbers for a new Interstate 95 distribution center, Mayor Jackie Warner said she is “personally elated.”
“We are indeed fortunate to gain USPS as a business neighbor that enhances the Hope Mills surrounding area with a tremendous economic impact for our people,” Warner told the Greater Fayetteville Business Journal on Monday. The Postal Service “will bring many quality jobs with a long-time commitment to its employees and business location. It’s a ‘win-win’ for the future of our entire geographic area.
The Business Journal reported Friday that the Postal Service had signed a lease to operate a distribution center in a new 178,200-square-foot facility, the first of four buildings planned for the Liberty Point industrial park. The location is on Corporation Drive, adjacent to the area of Interstate 95 that is part of Hope Mills.
(The Business Journal reached out to the USPS for details, but had not heard back as of 4 p.m. Monday.)
Although the facility is a spec building -- meaning it was built by the developer without a specific tenant in mind -- the broker representing Liberty Point said the USPS committed to Liberty Point early in the process. David Stroud, a vice president with the Raleigh-based commercial real estate firm APG Advisors, said the building will be completed in September with an October move-in by the USPS expected.
Construction is already underway on another spec building at Liberty Point -- 139,500-SF facility with delivery planned for the second quarter of 2022. A third spec building of similar size is planned along with a “build-to-suit” 690,400-SF, Stroud said. Liberty Point, which is being developed by Greensboro-based Windsor Commercial, ultimately will have 1,141,500 SF of usable space.
It’s a vital addition for the area, said Robert Van Geons, president and CEO of Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, who
“I think there's some really good stuff poised to happen out here and if we had more buildable land available we'd have more projects happening,” Van Geons said Monday. “We do not have any modern industrial buildings vacant in the county right now. Not a single one.”
Warner said she was “excited and thankful” for the Postal Service’s decision to pick Hope Mills, but also credited the landowners and the developer.
“We must not overlook the foresight of those who made the confident investment in the construction of this modern facility,” Warner said. “Without such vision, this great economic impact would only have been a dream. We are on the receiving end of a bright future.”
That vision also goes back to 1999, when Hope Mills annexed 482 acres of unincorporated land near Exit 41 on I-95. The satellite annexation left a near;y 2 mile gap between Hope Mills properand the I-95 corridor, but, Warner said, the town wanted to have control of the exit. It also was seen as an important area for economic growth, according to a related county rezoning request in 2013. When the area was annexed, the town teamed with the property owners, the county and PWC to add sewer and other infrastructure.
Although it was nearby, the Liberty Point land was not in the town limits. The landowner requested annexation two years ago and, with the help of a grant from the state, PWC extended sewer into the area.
Warner believes more business will be attracted to Liberty Point and the I-95 corridor.
“Being adjacent to I-95, with quick highway access, becomes such a tremendous time-saving access for business delivery,” she said.
“With the near completion of I-295, our future is heading for a ‘business boom’ that will invite neighboring counties and states from everywhere for fast connections to our entire area.”