Ag commissioner Troxler has ‘concerns’ about Project Haystack

Ag commissioner Troxler has ‘concerns’ about Project Haystack

Monday, May 12, 2014, 5:55pm EDT

Catherine Carlock

Triad Business Journal

A feasibility study for Project Haystack predicts that a 2,000-acre multijurisdictional industrial park, incorporating Guilford County’s prison farm site and another 1,200 acres that would be acquired, would generate an estimated $6.5 billion in private investment over two decades.

State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler will be in Elon Wednesday morning to outline his concerns about the proposed 2,000-acre data center and advanced manufacturing park known as Project Haystack.

“He is going to wade into the issue surrounding the farm and Project Haystack; he has some concerns about it,” said Brian Long, the public affairs director for the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. “As someone who obviously is the agriculture commissioner, he’s sort of charged with looking out for the state agriculture industry, but also as a resident of Guilford County himself he has some concerns about the proposal.”

Proponents of the 2,000-acre area in eastern Guilford and western Alamance counties say Project Haystack has the potential to be the next Research Triangle Park, with estimates of potential development totaling 11.5 million square feet of developed space, 5,349 jobs created and total economic impact of $6.5 billion over a 20-year period.

The project is a massive undertaking that would require the cooperation of multiple local governments— likely Guilford and Alamance counties, the cities of Greensboro and Burlington and the town of Gibsonville. The involved entities would be responsible for a total of $88.1 million in site preparation investments and an additional $15 million in land acquisition costs. ( My in-depth Project Haystack coverage includes much more detail.)


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