Could Moore County’s chief economic development organ be leaving its current location in the Moore County Chamber building on 15-501 to the more exclusive environs of historic downtown Pinehurst? My spies tell me Moore County Partners In Progress is being seriously tempted by an attractive rent proposal from the owners of the former Razook’s building.
Longtime Partners In Progress director Ray Ogden recently retired and handed over the reins to Pat Corso, the former boss at The Pinehurst Resort. Sources familiar with the proposal tell me they are concerned that this move could decrease the level of synergy between The Chamber and Partners In Progress. Many see it as quite important for The Chamber and Partners to be working hand-in-hand on economic development issues.
This is an interesting revelation — given Pinehurst mayoral candidate Joan Thurman’s recent endorsement of a business incubator for downtown Pinehurst. Business incubators typically involve an infusion of government funds to support a facility where startup businesses can set up shop. Is Partners planning to move to downtown Pinehurst and establish a business incubator in the Razook’s building? Will taxpayer funds be directed to Partners and the owners of the Razook’s building to finance this deal?
How smart is it to relocate the county’s economic development operation to a location (1) that is apart from the chamber, and (2) that is better suited for small tourism-oriented retail or service enterprises?