Product development is one key area where the Partnership dedicates energy and focus. In doing so, efforts are concentrated on preserving, preparing and advancing ideal sites and buildings. The end result is often site certifications, monitoring land use designations, and encouraging infrastructure extensions and improvements. In December of 2009, Ferncliff Industrial Park became a NC Certified Site. Over the past two years, the Partnership has been working to continue to develop Ferncliff as a world-class park. Not only does the Partnership reach out to prospective clients, but staff also presents sites and buildings t key developers located throughout the country.
On June 14, the Partnership was able to showcase Ferncliff to a group of NC Commerce Business and Industry developers. Half a dozen developers made a visit to Ferncliff while in the area for the North Carolina Economic Developers Association Spring Conference. Equipped with site plans, Partnership staff was able to show the developers the 262 acre property, surrounding areas and industry, discuss utilities, and answer any questions regarding the site. One key asset that was discussed is the potential for aviation and aerospace projects given adjacent proximity to the Asheville Regional Airport. Additionally, the Partnership discussed the advantages of the ad valorem tax rate in the Town of Mills River.
Landowner, Vaughan Fitzpatrick was also present during the morning visit. It was beneficial for the developers to get to talk to Vaughan and hear his vision for the park. He relayed the history of the property and presented plans for common-area green space, an on-site native landscaping nursery, and other benefits the property offers. Not only was the visit beneficial for the developers to see the site and be reminded of the assets in Henderson County, but it was advantageous for them to be able to talk with staff and Mr. Fitzpatrick about the benefits of Ferncliff for clients they are and will be working with.