Shovel Ready Sites 40 Minutes from Raleigh, NC

Already home to global manufacturers such as Caterpillar, Pfizer, Tyson Foods, Moen, Coty, Pilgrim’s, Pentair and GKN, Sanford-Lee County is a low-cost location with easy access to one of the nation’s highest quality labor pools.

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Land, Labor & Low Cost

Sanford is located less than 40 minutes from two significant sources of qualified labor—Research Triangle to the north and Fort Bragg to the south. Companies like Caterpillar, Pfizer, Tyson Foods, Moen, Coty, Pilgrim’s, Pentair, Magneti Marelli and GKN Driveline all operate significant facilities in our community due to its abundance of land and shovel-ready sites, strong workforce training programs through Central Carolina Community College and significantly reduced operating costs.

40 Minutes to Research Triangle

Limited access freeway to RDU Airport & Downtown Raleigh

3,000-5,000 Per Year

Military personnel exiting duty from Fort Bragg & available to work

11,500 Commuters from Greater Raleigh

Strong recruitment potential from one of the nation’s fastest growing metros.

Key Employers

Advanced manufacturing is Lee County’s backbone, with operations extending into life sciences, energy, defense and agrifood. Our diverse set of industry-leading employers include Caterpillar, Pfizer, Tyson Foods, Moen, Coty, Pilgrim’s Pride, Pentair and GKN, each of which employs 300 or more in local facilities. Augmenting this employer base are dozens of local manufacturers and suppliers with impeccable reputations for quality, including Mertek Solutions and Frontier Spinning Mills.

Lee County is home to Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) and its award-winning training programs through CCWorks. The customized CAT Pre-Apprenticeship program, for example, produces 20 ready-to-work graduates every year through the Industrial Systems Technology pathway offered to high school students. A similar pathway in neighboring Harnett County, for Computer Integrated Machining Technology, also engages industry to prepare students for the skills they need. Overall, CCCC has an annual enrollment of more than 5,000 students across its three-county system.


North Carolina is scheduled to further reduce its corporate income tax rate to 2.5% (from 3% currently) in 2019, lowest in the U.S. of any state levying such a tax. It also has a fully phased-in single sales-factor apportionment for corporate income. Improvements like these led Forbes to rank North Carolina its No.1 State for Business in late 2018. From taxes to regulatory environment to low business costs, North Carolina consistently ranks in the Top 5 or 10 states every year.

For incentives, state programs are eligible, such as the performance-based Job Development Investment Grant and One North Carolina Fund, both of which are discretionary cash grants for competitive business expansions. Further, Lee County is identified as Tier 2 in North Carolina’s three-tier system, which encourages economic activity in certain areas of the state over others.

State Incentives Overview

Located in Central North Carolina and southeast of the Greater Raleigh region, Sanford-Lee County is traversed by the four-lane U.S. Highway 1 traveling north through Raleigh and south through Columbia, SC. A bypass of U.S. Highway 421 also aids east- and west-bound traffic. Class I rail is provided by both CSX and Norfolk Southern, which both run lines through the center of the county.

Raleigh Executive Jetport in Sanford provides corporate and recreational aviation with a 6,500-foot runway, serving as a reliever airport to Raleigh-Durham International (RDU) located 40 minutes northeast. The direct air access to Lee County is convenient for executives operating at one of numerous shovel-ready sites located nearby.

Download Sites & Buildings

Sanford is home to several shovel-ready sites, as well as a recently-approved spec building due for completion in 2019 and the nearby Moncure Megasite in adjacent Chatham County. More information on three of them can be found below.