Managers: Global TransPark has 'promising future'

Posted February 11, 2011
Updated February 15, 2011

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— Spirit AeroSystems could do for the North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston what IBM did for the Research Triangle Park, managers there said Friday.

Park managers touted the opening of Spirit's 500,000-square-foot manufacturing facility last May as "a catalyst for the TransPark's promising future." Spirit is the world's largest independent supplier of commercial airplane components.

The comments were contained a response to an audit of the state agency by the State Auditor's Office.

The auditor's report found that Global TransPark posted an operating loss of nearly $4 million in the fiscal year that ended in June 2010 but also increased its net assets by $58 million to nearly $200 million. Park managers attributed much of the operating loss to project costs such as $1 million to install an 8-inch gas line for a tenant.

The report also states that the park could be challenged to repay a $38 million loan to the North Carolina Escheat Fund due in October.

The Global TransPark, which has received more than $80 million in state and federal funding over two decades, has been criticized as a failed venture with 23 other small tenants, including some state agencies.

Managers said that the TransPark experienced a "busy year" in 2010.

About 97 percent of the park is leased and investments have been made in infrastructure, managers there said. It's on schedule to complete a rail spur in November, in addition to existing road, air and sea transit options.

Along with adding Spirit as its major anchor, the park attracted Schenker Logistics Inc. as its newest tenant in 2010, managers said.

Managers pointed to a recent analysis by the state Department of Commerce that the park's tenants contribute $27.5 million to the region's gross domestic product each year. The DOC analysis expects that contribution to grow to $142 million in the next three years.


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  • Greenvillian Feb 11, 2011

    Air force one practices there because it is the only runway long enough and free of the congestion that other major airports experience.

    To river: some politicians are worried about their pockets...but politicians are not the people who will make the gtp successful...

  • 6079 SMITH W Feb 11, 2011

    The pilot is practicing landing and takeoff in a 747, that airport is probably the best choice on the east coast. At 11,500ft, it is the longest non-military runway in the state. It is fairly isolated for it's size, has low traffic volume, and is practically next door to DC for a 747. That's a big, heavy bird, and the extra long runway is a plus. (I practiced 747 landing and takeoff in a simulator on the Bonneville Salt Flats till I got the hang of it...PLENTY of room) ;)

  • TheAdmiral Feb 11, 2011

    Being sold off at public auction and bringing in the state losses would be good for me.

  • wakeconative4ever Feb 11, 2011

    of course Air Force one practices landing there about once per month......I was over there one day when this was going on and I bet I saw it land, take off, circle Kinston, and land again about 25 times......wonder how much that fuel costs the taxpayers???

  • riverratnumber1 Feb 11, 2011

    To greenvillian; Never happen, to many politicians pockets yet to be filled. Especially one who just hired most expensive and crooked lawyer in Raliegh to get her same deal as sleasley got.

  • ncspamfish Feb 11, 2011

    me thinks the park managers have been drinking too much koolaid to come up with a DA comment like that in the article headline.

    by the way, which century is this event suppose to take place??

  • Greenvillian Feb 11, 2011

    It will work out with time. A 'money pit' in Kinston is no different than a money pit in Charlotte, Fayetteville, or even Wilmington.

    The point of the GTP is to bring something to Eastern NC that it did not have...a way to compete with today's industries. The GTP certainly has proved to be competitive and helped the infrastructure of Eastern NC.

    The bigger cities have had their days in NC. Now its time to lift up the several remaining counties that keep NC less competitive and below national averages.

  • Retired07 Feb 11, 2011

    GTP---Ghetto Trans Park

  • Retired07 Feb 11, 2011

    Wasn t this thing Jim Hunt's grand idea?? Absolute money pit for tax payers

  • bgreen Feb 11, 2011

    The GTP idea was originally floated to be located at an existing transportation hub and most had Wilmington in mind. Wilmington had to compete for it against other locations thrown into the mix by the usual suspects on Jones and Blount Streets. Wilmington was already an active seaport, a rail head, the terminus of an Interstate highway (I40) and had a large-jet capable modern airport. Of course Kinston had none of these attributes but it was right next to Wilson County during the time that a familiar Wilson County resident was occupying an office suite in the Capitol.

    So Kinston, with basically a private aviation airfield, on a four lane highway (US 70 with dozens of stoplights), 90 miles from the coast, and with an obsolete rail line passing through got the nod.

    This idea has cost a bundle but it is one of those mistakes that is going to work out, by God, no matter what it takes from Raleigh, largely because of the crowd that fixed the contest in the first place.