Franklin-County-UpdateFrom Franklin County: The Franklin County Board of Supervisors and Southway Farm LLC are pleased to announce that the County has agreed to purchase the Southway farm as Franklin County’s “next generation” business park. The 350-acre farm is strategically located adjacent to Rt. 220 between Rocky Mount and Boones Mill. Due to recent economic development successes in the Franklin County Commerce Center and Rocky Mount Industrial Park, the County has only one developed site left to market to new and expanding businesses. This site shortage has necessitated the creation of new sites and a new business park. After an intensive four-year review of properties along the U.S. Route 220 Corridor running the entire length of the County, the Board of Supervisors has determined that the Southway property is situated in the most strategic area as the site for the new business park.
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A great many factors went into the selection of the Southway property for this project, including location, ease of transportation access with a short distance to an interstate and Regional Airport, ready availability of utilities, and topography among others. After a rigorous due diligence effort, Franklin County has found this to be an unparalleled property on which to focus its economic development efforts. It is expected that the full development of the property will take eight to ten years and that the park will have the ability to attract new businesses for twenty to thirty years to come. This purchase represents a true investment in the future of Franklin County.

Work will begin in the coming months on plans for how the park will ultimately be developed and how to most economically bring public sewer to the site. Additionally, the County will begin planning for the eventual construction of on-site utilities, access roads, and additional amenities that will be attractive to new and existing companies. It is expected that Franklin County will soon begin making application to numerous regional, state, and federal agencies for grant funds to lower the park’s development costs. The types of new businesses the County is looking to attract to the area seek a different type of atmosphere than traditional parks of bygone decades. This new park will be developed with a commitment to make it attractive to the businesses Franklin County residents want to see originate or locate into the community. The overall long range development plan envisions a business park that also honors the agricultural heritage of the county by incorporating existing trees and vegetation, open spaces, and recreational amenities as feasible. By utilizing these features, the County will add an element of charm and livability to the location that is desirable by many companies looking to grow and expand.

Franklin County thanks the Sink family for their willingness to work with the County in making this park a reality. It is understood that the property has been cared for by the Sink family for more than 220 years and that this sale will continue the land’s long history of bringing positive impacts to the community.