by: Mark Becker Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brooks Agnew stood beside a bright blue truck frame and smiled.
“We designed this vehicle from the ground up as an electric vehicle,” he said.
Six months after he set up shop in an old warehouse off Mt. Holly Road, his small company is ready to roll out their first electric truck that will go from 0 to 60 in five seconds and run for two cents a mile.
Agnew has only a handful of employees, but they plan to sell their first truck in September, and more importantly, Agnew says, they’re just getting started.
“We'll get to about 300 employees here before we have to expand the facility," Agnew said.
It is one of nine companies that have set up shop in what developers are calling Reventure Park — a 700-acre development on the site of an old chemical plant that was once one of the county’s most polluted areas, and now hopes to be an eco-industrial park that will attract companies that are devoted to alternative energy research, recycling and other environmentally friendly businesses.
“This is a win for jobs. It's a win for the environment,” said Gov. Pat McCrory who attended a special ceremony unveiling Reventure Park and honoring the man behind it — developer Tom McKittrick.
“It's fantastic to be recognized for what we're doing out here. It's been a very long road,” McKittrick said after the event that brought more than 100 people including Charlotte’s mayor and the NC House Speaker.
McKittrick has recruited nine companies so far with a total of 45 employees, but expects to bring in up to 700 jobs over the next few years. The development will also include more than 170 acres set aside for trails and a wildlife preserve.
“It's becoming an easier sell every day. The more companies that are here, they talk to their networks and the momentum is fantastic,” McKittrick said.
McCrory names acting SBI director
At a 1 p.m. press conference, McCrory announced the transfer of the State Bureau of Investigation from the North Carolina Department of Justice to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, where it will operate as an independent agency.
McCrory appointed Bernard W. (B.W.) Collier II acting director of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) Thursday.
"B.W. Collier’s distinguished law enforcement background and leadership skills make him the ideal candidate to lead this elite agency,” said Governor McCrory. "Collier’s 26 years as a SBI agent coupled with his experience at Alcohol Law Enforcement give me complete confidence in his abilities to carry out the SBI’s mission.”
Also transferring to the Department of Public Safety will be the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission from the Commerce Department. The ABC Commission will operate as an independent agency.