Treyburn recruits to receive city utilities

Dec. 22, 2013 @ 08:36 PM

Two prospective tenants of the Treyburn Corporate Park have obtained the City Council’s permission this week to hook on to the city’s water and sewer system, even though the project sites won’t be annexed.
Members unanimously supported utility extension deals for the proposed Purdue Pharma drug-manufacturing plant and a second project, known so far only as “Project Joshua,” that includes a small data center.
Both will remain under Durham County’s jurisdiction because city officials long ago agreed they won’t annex land in Treyburn Corporate Park, City Manager Tom Bonfield said.
That makes it an exception to the city’s general policy that it will offer utilities only to projects that seek annexation.
Officials made the no-annexation pledge to avoid putting Treyburn at a competitive disadvantage with Research Triangle Park, Bonfield said. State law bars the city from annexing land in RTP.
Bonfield and other staffers took the issue to the council Thursday at the behest of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, which is the chief business recruiter for county government.
Chamber leaders were “most anxious” for the council to approve hook-ups because the companies involved have other offers on the table and “have not completely decided to be in Durham,” Bonfield said.
Purdue Pharma is planning a 120,000-square-foot facility that chamber officials believe will bring permanent jobs for about 100 people.
To land it, County Commissioners in September pledged $1 million in business incentives to the company. As usual, the incentives are basically a tax give-back, a pledge to the company against what officials expect in future tax receipts.
Less is known of Project Joshua.
City officials term it “an office and warehouse facility,” but documents the County Commissioners reviewed last month labeled it a 26,988-square-foot data center.