|J. Scott Padgett
J. Scott Padgett was elected to the position of Mayor in 2001 after serving on the City Council since 1995. A longtime resident of Concord, Scott is a retired elementary school principal who received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University, Master of Education Degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and an Advanced Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Very active in the community, Scott is a member of the Concord Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow and former Board of Directors member), and All Saints Episcopal Church. He is a past member of the North Carolina League of Municipalities Board of Directors, is an active participant in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and is a current board member of the N.C. Metropolitan Mayors Coalition. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Cabarrus Boys & Girls Club and Cabarrus Bank & Trust. He is a member of the Rowan-Cabarrus Community College Board of Trustees, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, and has been honored with the Order of The Long Leaf Pine.
Prior to becoming an elected official of the City, Mayor Padgett served as a member of Concord’s Planning and Zoning Commission. He is married and has one child and three grandchildren. Mayor Padgett states, “I have always been impressed with the leadership in Concord, and it is an honor to serve the citizens. We have many challenges today, but they are no greater than those faced by our forefathers. Working together, we can make this an even better place in which to live and work.”
A Message from the Mayor
A breakthrough moment
Concord has been fortunate enough for some development to continue over the last few years, while the community dealt with the impact of the recession. It was a moderate but steady flow of new investment to keep our local economy afloat after the loss of a regional employer and the general downsizing occurring in many industries. By all indicators over the last three months, the flow of investment into Concord is picking up great speed. There were many project and job announcements this fall, including the long-awaited answer to the question, "what will happen at Philip Morris?" There was also a lot of attention on some well-known national and international companies establishing presences here, sometimes beginning before the companies formally announced their intentions. These results are the work of cooperation between multiple levels of government and the private sector, and I'm proud to say that Concord's continued involvement in economic development efforts over the past years will benefit the entire community well into the future. I would like to highlight a few of the major projects.
Amazon and FedEx are two household names that are planning major facilities here in Concord. Amazon has opened a facility at the Concord Airport Business Park
. Named because of its proximity to Concord Regional Airport on Derita Road, the park is privately developed and managed by the Silverman Group
, a family owned and operated private equity and real estate development organization. The park currently has four different industrial and office buildings, with Amazon's facility located in a portion of the 400,000 square-foot industrial building seen from Derita Road. There is an additional 150,000 square-foot building available, with additional facilities planned for the future. You can learn more about this business park at cabpnc.com
. Another developer, Beacon Partners, is planning a similar campus called RiverOaks Corporate Center
at the corner of Poplar Tent Road and Derita Road. RiverOaks will be a master-planned logistics and manufacturing campus situated on 150 acres, and accommodating buildings from 50,000 to 1.4 million square feet.
A few miles away in the successful International Business Park (featured in Fall 2011 issue
), located between Davidson Highway (NC 73) and Poplar Tent Road, SunCap Property Group
is developing a new facility to serve as the relocated FedEx SmartPost's Charlotte hub
. This facility alone will be over 330,000 square feet. On the other end of International Drive, the Trinity Capital Advisors has constructed a 277,000 square foot industrial speculative building. In between these massive structures on either end of the park, DNP
is expanding into an 88,000 square foot spec building.
Together, the Silverman, SunCap, and Trinity developments represent over 1 million square feet of new industrial space, or "product" as the City Manager described in his Spring 2014 column
. Adding in the new DNP building, they also represent $68.5 million of private investment. Both Amazon's and FedEx SmartPost's local facilities will be part of national distribution networks. The distribution industry became very interested in Concord with the recent improvements along I-85, its interchanges with Poplar Tent Road and Davidson Highway, and the nearby completion of I-485. Other projects underway or in development such as the widening of Derita Road and the extension of George W. Liles Parkway will make Concord even more attractive to those looking for prime transpiration access.
There is positive news in various commercial areas of Concord. In the last year, there has been over $3.1 million of private investment into existing Downtown buildings. Union Street and the surrounding area are as vibrant as ever, with an occupancy rate over 95 percent in the Downtown Municipal Service District. The mix of residential, professional services, restaurant, and retail space in Afton Village is a bustling area on the western side of Concord. Neighborhoods like these are becoming increasingly attractive to people across the country who enjoy a variety of housing, employment, and entertainment options in close proximity; I'm glad Concord is able to offer several to choose from.
Tourism is another industry that helped Concord through the last six years. According to the Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, local tourism spending exceeded $371 million in 2013, which was a 2.5 percent increase from 2012. Cabarrus ranks 12th out of North Carolina’s 100 Counties in tourism, with over $27 million generated in total state and local taxes. The CVB attributes 3,980 local jobs to tourism, and estimates that tourism saves each household in the county approximately $424 in property taxes.
The most exciting and promising news for our future was unveiled October 28, as Alevo
opened its manufacturing facility on the former Philip Morris property. The 2,000 acre campus was purchased by a group of investors led by Norwegian "serial entrepreneur" Jostein Eikeland after ten years of product research and development. Eikeland is Chairman and CEO of Swiss-based Alevo Group, who has renamed the campus Victory Industrial Park
. Alevo’s name is derived from Italian scientist Alessandro Volta, who in 1800 discovered “voltaic elements,” leading to the use of batteries as we know it today.
Alevo has invested over $100 million in battery research and development, and $68.5 million in the property. The company feels so strongly about their business model and the quality of this community that they chose to locate here without the use of any incentives whatsoever. Alevo plans to begin manufacturing its innovative GridBank energy storage technology here in Concord in 2015, which combined with intelligent grid data analytics will transform the future of energy infrastructure around the world. Alevo's breakthrough technology will create more reliability and new efficiencies that lower costs for utilities and consumers. This technology is great for the nation and for the planet. Locally, the best news is the promise of 500 jobs in the next year, with an additional 2,000 jobs within three years, and eventually 6,000 total jobs if additional manufacturing elements are located at the plant. You can learn more about Alevo, the GridBank, and job opportunities at alevo.com
I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to all that lays ahead in the next year as much as I am, Merry Christmas!