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Albemarle Economic Development Commission
405 East Main Street, Suite 4
Elizabeth City, NC 27907
Elizabeth City Area
Convention & Visitors Bureau
400 South Water Street, Suite 101
Elizabeth City Area
Chamber of Commerce
The City of Elizabeth City
City Operator 252-338-3981
After Hours 252-335-2196
A City on the Move
Updated May 5, 2011
By any measure — business development, retail expansion or cultural variety — Elizabeth City is a city on the move. Here's a summary of projects of note, recently completed or in the pipeline, as of May 2011.
Recent Openings and In the Pipeline
Desert Wind Energy Project
Iberdrola Renewables, the world's leading producer of wind power, in May received premission from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to construct a 300-megawatt wind farm in Pasquotank and Perquimans Counties. The Desert Wind Energy project will be the first utility-scale wind farm in the Southeast and by far the single largest green energy project proposed in North Carolina. On completion, the project will generate enough power for 55,000 to 70,000 homes. The project is expected to generate 400 jobs during the construction phase and 15 permanent jobs at an average annual salary of $80,000 when completed. Iberdrola plans to break ground by the end of this year.
Golden LEAF Broadband Initiative
Construction is expected to begin this month on more than 200 miles of fiber optic cable in Pasquotank County and neighboring counties that will give "anchor institutions" - Elizabeth City State University, College of the Albemarle, Albemarle Health, and the public library - world-class broadband connectivity. The project is a part of the $105-million Golden LEAF Broadband Initiative, which includes $76 million in federal grant funding, $24 million from Godlen LEAF and $5 million from the MCNC Endowment.
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is the largest single employer in Elizabeth, with 7700 enlisted personnel, 650 full-time civilian employees, and approximately 700 individuals working under contract. All major overhaul work on the Coast Guard's aircraft fleet is performed in Elizabeth City, and all individuals in its Aviation division are trained here. The Coast Guard recently opened a new and greatly expanded Exchange; is in the process of building an $18-million rescue-swimmers training facility; and is about to break ground on a new dormitory.
DRS C3 and Aviation
DRS recently doubled its capacity to service C-130, CH-144 and Falcon aircraft with the addition of a second 80,000 square-foot hangar adjacent to the Elizabeth City Pasquotank Regional Airport. DRS employs 220 workers at an average annual salary of $50,000. DRS opened its first facility in February 2006.
Telephonics Technical Support Services
Telephonics Corporation, which supplies the radar for the U.S. Coast Guard's HC-144A Ocean Sentry aircraft, opened a repair facility and 23,000 square-foot hangar adjacent to the Elizabeth City Regional Airport in June 2010..
Farm Fresh Food & Pharmacy
This upscale Virginia-based chain opened its first North Carolina store in Elizabeth City in January 2005. The 50,000-square-foot store includes a Starbucks.
This 208,000 square-foot facility with an additional 30,000 square feet of adjacent retail space opened to huge crowds in January 2007 in one of Wal-Mart’s most successful grand openings.
W.C. Witherspoon Memorial Library and Public Safety Building
The 22,500 square-foot library and facing public safety building in downtown Elizabeth City opened June 2007.
Museum of the Albemarle
This northeastern regional branch of the North Carolina Museum of History, with 54,000 square feet of exhibit, event and office space, opened on the Elizabeth City waterfront in April 2006.
Fairfield Inn & Suites
This 96-room hotel by Marriott on City Center Boulevard off Halstead Road Extended opened October 2007.
A new 38,000-square-foot Food Lion opened October 2008 on the Weeksville Highway near Elizabeth City State University.
Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park
This $13-million, 63-acre aviation park includes sites suitable for construction of four hangars of up to 80,000 square feet and will include the Elizabeth City State University School of Aviation Science. The three-phase project is projected to create 800 - 1,200 jobs and attract $150 million in capital investment. DRS Technologies ground-leased all four sites in Phase I, competed in June. The City of Elizabeth City is in the final stages of approval for a Small Business Administration grant to secure options on property and do the site planning for Phase II.
Albemarle Hospital Emergency Room Expansion and New Surgery Center
A 38,000 square-foot emergency room and 31,000 square-foot surgery center, valued at $44 million, were completed in June 2009.
Arts of the Albemarle completed renovation of the historic Lowry-Chesson Building, one block from the downtown waterfront, in March. The $3.2-million Center houses the Jenkins Gallery and the Maguire Theater, home to the Encore Theatre Company.