Hope for Franklin industrial park

Published 11:00 am Saturday, February 23, 2013

It’s good to hear that Franklin’s Pretlow Industrial Park is getting noticed, and we can thank City Council.

Council in July entered into a three-year contract with Hollingsworth, a real estate developer, to market the 173-acre park off Pretlow Street and Route 58.

To date, the park has one tenant. That tenant — Money Mailer — is closing next month.

Hollingsworth will charge the city $18,000 annually, with Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. picking up the tab for the first year. A worthwhile gamble.

Amanda Jarratt, president and chief executive officer of FSEDI, says the park is getting some “attention.”

A company like Hollingsworth is in the business of attracting developers. It knows what works in the current market and what does not, and has a proven track record.

Hollingsworth has a similar partnership at the Southpoint Business Park in Prince George County. That project in the last 15 years generated in $1 billion in capital investment and close to 1,000 jobs.

Hollingsworth also has a database of more than 13,000 contacts in addition to commercial real estate brokerage firms it works with.

So let’s hope for the best.