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Work at Larkin Regional Commerce Park begins again
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Work at Larkin Regional Commerce Park begins again

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Construction at the Larkin Regional Commerce Park continues, as workers look to build a road to connect to Amity Hill Road.

Work at Larkin Regional Commerce Park started again in recent weeks, and the rumble of construction equipment is what the project’s stakeholders hope is the beginning of momentum again for the long-awaited development project.

It’s just the beginning, again, as the construction hopes to set the table for businesses to come in.

“Phase I of the Larkin Regional Commerce Park ... includes the roadway and utilities,” Robert Combs, of the Keith Corp., said. “This roadway will be the access point for 70 acres of commercial development and over 200 acres of industrial development”

The timeline for the infrastructure of the project to be completed is July 2022, he said.

Time is one of the important parts of the story for the commerce park, as it often finds itself on the wrong side of luck when it comes to timing.

In 2007, the original Larkin plan for a commercial and residential complex was proposed, but the recession that occurred late in the decade derailed the plan.

In 2017, industrial and retail development plans for the Larkin property were announced, which led to the Statesville City Council rezoning the area. Construction was set to begin in early 2020.

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“Then the world stopped,” Statesville City Councilman William Morgan said.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, halting development once again.

“But now we’re back at it,” Morgan said.

The 1,100-acre plot near Exit 45, just off Interstate 77, has been seen as a promising prospect for the area’s economic growth. While the original plan for the commercial and residential properties fell through, Statesville invested millions over time to expand development to the property in hopes of cultivating commerce.

Morgan said he still sees the promise that a potential development holds.

“Five million square feet is nothing to sneeze at,” Morgan said, referring to the overall size of the development. “The Keith Corp. is tasked with designing and putting up the buildings and finding their tenants. They are actively pursuing a couple right now that is very promising. It’s going to be a win-win for the city.”

There are still questions on what and when as far as which companies and businesses will come to occupy the space, but soon the hope is the project will be more than an idea for an undeveloped piece of land.

“It’s going to happen,” former Councilman Michael Johnson said in 2019, just a few months before the pandemic hit.

That has been something those invested in the project have said before and are saying again, but with work beginning against at the site, in time, he just might be proved right.

Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL


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