Friday Five: Hopping from one empty grocery store to another
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Friday Five: Hopping from one empty grocery store to another

Only $3 for 13 weeks

This probably sounds like a rerun from the last Friday Five, as real estate transactions and job development efforts are still going almost full bore despite the pandemic.

No. 1The old Troutman’s Barbecue on 601 has sold. Troutman Enterprises/Land sold the former barbecue restaurant on Warren C. Coleman Boulevard/U.S. 601 to Howell Sides.

Sides plans to move Badcock Furniture into the building in the next few months. Badcock has been on Branchview Drive for several years.

The former Troutman building was first a Harris Teeter, then the restaurant and, most recently, Creative Home and Floral.

Keith Troutman said Troutman’s is retaining the 16-acre commercial site next door for possible future development or sale.

There’s getting to be a lot of business activity down that way and that could be interesting property in the future.

No. 2What is it with Badcock and former grocery stores? If I’m not mistaken, this will be Badcock’s second former grocery store, or will it be the third? I believe the current Badcock location is a former Food Lion. And I believe Badcock was in the old Bi-Lo building across from Barber-Scotia College before that.

The old Bi-Lo building is now an office building.

No. 3More jobs and projects. Cabarrus County is still in the running for a number of projects, including Project Press, which is a canning operation considering a large spec building on Kannapolis Parkway.

A news release from the governor’s office this week made me do a double-take. It was a manufacturer of beverages that plans to go to Morganton.

The folks over at Cabarrus Economic Development said it’s not the same company and that we’re still in the running for Project Press. A decision there could happen in the next few weeks.

Here are a couple of announcements this week on new projects moving forward. It’s good for the state, but they’re not local to us.

Unix Packaging, a California-based contract manufacturer of branded and private-label beverages, will create 226 new jobs in Burke County, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday. The company will invest $19 million to locate its first East Coast manufacturing facility in Morganton.

Ontex Operations USA, LLC, part of Belgium’s Ontex Group NV, has plans to establish significant new operations in Rockingham County that would create up to 403 new jobs by 2025, Cooper also announced Wednesday. The company will manufacture a range of personal care and hygiene products that will be sold through leading retailers in the U.S. and Canada. Expenditures for the land, building and operating assets, including those made by Ontex, will generate an investment of $93.3 million.

It’s good to see companies are moving ahead with big projects, even with the economy paused and just starting to reopen.

No. 4A business incubator in downtown Concord? Cabarrus County commissioners will hear about a grant proposal at the work session Monday. The county is being asked to jointly apply for a federal economic development grant for a business incubator in downtown Concord. The other partners in the application are Cabarrus EDC, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and the cities of Concord and Kannapolis.

It would require a matching portion of up to $10,000 from the county. It could be interesting. There is a good bit of space that could be used. I find it interesting that Kannapolis is being asked to join this proposal for downtown Concord. I figure Kannapolis has its hands full with its downtown.

I peeked in the window of the new Cabarrus Cycling Co. bike shop on West Avenue this week. There are some nice-looking bikes ready for when the shop opens.

No. 5Strange times covering racing. You’ve probably noticed we don’t have a lot of race coverage from Charlotte Motor Speedway. Blame COVID-19. With no fans and limited media access, we haven’t been able to do many stories. NASCAR is allowing four reporters and two photographers on site, and it’s understandable we’re not included. The national, yearlong media gets those spots.

Even Marty Smith with ESPN is forced to sit outside the track in his truck.

NASCAR and Charlotte Motor Speedway are doing the best they can under the circumstances. We have been able to get photos and stories about the races from pool coverage. We look forward to being back at the track when all this pandemic is over. Thank you for your understanding on this.

If you have a Friday Five, story suggestions or something I can rant about, email

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