February 7, 2023

A prime piece of real estate across the street from the Chatham County megasite where VinFast is planning to build its 7,500-job electric vehicle factory is poised for more industrial development.
The owners behind 243.5 acres in Chatham County are looking to rezone the land to allow for light industrial use in a project they’re calling Midpoint Logistics. The land sits between Old U.S. Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 1 – across the street from Triangle Innovation Point where the VinFast facility will be located.
The Chatham County Board of Commissioners conducted a public hearing on the rezoning Sept. 19. No decision was made as the item was referred to the planning board for more deliberation.
The rezoning would allow for the land to be developed for various industrial uses. The owners of the land – which include local developers Ray Covington and Mark Lyczkowski, who are behind some large residential projects in nearby Sanford – purchased a large swath of the land in December for $3 million as Covington said at the time it seemed like a “great area for future growth.”
Lyczkowski said during the Sept. 19 public hearing that given the proximity to the future VinFast plant, this land would be appealing to suppliers. There is no specific end-user for the site on board today, but Lyczkowski said they have “a ton of interest in this property.”
Chatham County is currently working on a small area plan that was triggered by the VinFast announcement in March. The plan will serve as a roadmap as to how the county should develop land going forward.
During the public hearing, Commissioner Diana Hales expressed worry that rezoning this land now may be incongruous with what the small area plan will advise later.
“If we rezone this now, what happens when the plan comes in and perhaps has a different take on it?” Hales said.
Mike Dasher, a fellow commissioner, said that while he was looking forward to the small area plan, given this land’s proximity to U.S. Highway 1 and Triangle Innovation Point, it’d be hard to imagine it being anything other than light industrial or commercial use.
Lyczkowski stressed the need to have this land rezoned as that would get the ball rolling for his development team to get the infrastructure ready for any potential user. For industrial users like manufacturers and logistics companies, speed-to-market is becoming critical in the site selection process. Companies don’t want to wait two years for a piece of land to be developed.
“There’s nobody going to come on a speculative basis,” Lyczkowski said. “We’re not trying to get the cart before the horse, we’re just trying to have a horse.”
Evan Hoopfer covers real estate and economic development in the Greater Triangle, focusing on the counties outside Wake and Durham. Have a tip? Reach him at ehoopfer@bizjournals.com or (919) 327-1012.
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