PINEHURST — It is unsurprising that even before the Coronavirus pandemic took hold North Carolina was ranked among one of the top migration destinations for years. But recent data compiled by moving company United Van Lines shows our state ranks No. 7 on a list of states witnessing the biggest influx of new moves between March and August of this year.
“If we just look at the last few months, the top states to move to are not necessarily known for their major metropolitan areas,” says a United Van Lines’ spokeswoman, Eily Cummings. “This shows a potential trend to less populated areas.” North Carolina saw a 60 percent inbound move rate during the pandemic. New York and New Jersey have seen the biggest departure of residents and just under half of those leaving New York relocated to North Carolina, Florida, Texas and California.
Pinehurst and Southern Pines are two areas that have seen some of the biggest population increases over the last year. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus, Moore County remains appealing to buyers of all stripes, including young retirees and other professionals attracted to the region’s excellent golf and recreational offerings. One local realtor told The Pilot newspaper her sales were up 28 percent compared with this time last year.
“Construction is booming here as people seek out the quintessential American hometown, which is what we are,” says Charles Gregg, CEO of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic. He says that with all the chatter regarding corporations leaving inner cities and looking for healthier environments the timing was perfect to put Southern Pines and Pinehurst on the map for the Life Sciences industry. In early 2019, Pinehurst Surgical Clinic and Pinehurst Medical Clinic embarked on an ambitious new project in an effort to stem what is known as medical leakage around their communities.
Medical leakage is a term used to describe the fact that residents of a certain area are forced to seek certain medical services outside their local hospital system because of a limited supply or lack of services offered. Dr. David Grantham, president of Pinehurst Surgical Clinic says they noticed millions in healthcare revenue leakage to neighboring metro cities including the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte. “We recognize the number of patients receiving surgical care in our community and the smaller number that go elsewhere. We are growing Pinehurst Surgical Clinic in a way to address those needs so that patients can receive subspecialty care in Moore County just as they would at tertiary care centers. Patients want to stay home if they can to receive their care.”
The new Health & Life Sciences Campus at Morganton Park will lower the cost of healthcare for residents of Southern Pines by offering expanded services that may have previously been off limits. These services include plastic surgery, women’s comprehensive care, ophthalmology, urgent care, a primary care walk-in clinic, endocrinology, and dermatology.
Once completed the Health & Life Sciences Campus at Morganton Park will be 278,000 square feet, with approximately 108,000 sf. currently under construction. There will be six sites, one of which already exists, called The Pavilion that has Char Bar 7 restaurant that Gregg describes as an upscale/casual dining experience. Additionally, the pavilion has miscellaneous office space that local companies can lease. The campus is currently pursuing the following tenants:
- Life Science organizations that are interested in a Southeast location and or training facility
- Medical implant companies
- Medical/Clinical training facilities
- R&D facilities to include clinical trials
- Dental Groups
Dr. Grantham says Pinehurst Surgical Clinic is really excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for them in the Health & Life Sciences Campus at Morganton Park. “Having a clean slate of land that size dedicated to healthcare and the associated industries allows us to explore a multitude of different partnerships, some traditional and some non-traditional. We are always thinking about the future of healthcare and how we need to push that forward in a way that advocates for the well-being of our patients and the value of the care they receive.”