LIBERTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Town leaders are making sure the town of Liberty is ready to welcome the thousands of people and new developments expected following Toyota’s big announcement on Tuesday.
The company’s new $8 billion investment will create 3,000 additional jobs for the 1,800-acre site, bringing the total to more than 5,000 jobs and $13.9 billion invested in the project.
Town leaders and business owners say since the initial announcement from Toyota two years ago, Liberty saw a huge boost in economic growth.
“We’ve been seeing a lot of new people coming in, and anything that creates jobs is a blessing to everybody,” said Susan Aydelette, Hurricane Janes restaurant owner.
Liberty town leaders are re-evaluating the town’s land development plan to prepare for more homes and businesses to be built to accommodate the growth they expect will come with Toyota’s battery manufacturing plant.
“Helps give us a guide of where citizens that had put in input of where they want growth to come,” Liberty Town Manager Scott Kidd said.
Kidd said the town is the only water/sewer provider for that portion of Randolph County.
The state budget identified $85 million for water and sewer improvements in Randolph County.
The town has been working with the county to create a plan that will improve the town’s infrastructure to prepare for future developments.
“You go from a small town that’s never really changed to Toyota’s going to have more employees than we currently have residents, and they’re three miles up the road, not including all the other economic development announcements since four years that they seem to have spurred … this region to want to grow,” Kidd said.
Since Toyota’s initial announcement of its battery plant at the Liberty Site in 2021, the town’s had around 50 homes built, two annexations, steady foot traffic at many local businesses and several vacant downtown buildings purchased.
Businesses and town leaders expect the announcement of the recent investment to do the same.
“It is kind of hard to make it in Liberty sometimes … And I feel like … the megasite is going to be a blessing to everyone,” Aydelette said.
Adding to the economic growth in Liberty, the town’s council recently approved a building reuse grant for the renovation of a vacant warehouse on Liberty Park Avenue paired with an unnamed company’s investment of $7 million.
It will bring 45 new jobs with an average wage of $45,000 to the town.