Economic Development Areas

  1. Buckhorn
  2. Hillsborough
  3. Eno


The Buckhorn Economic Development District, in lavender, is located in the western portion of Orange County just off exit 157 from Interstate 85/40, and includes approximately 900 acres of developable land. The Buckhorn area has been targeted to include a variety of manufacturing, wholesale, distribution, retail and service uses.

Along with the designated EDDs, the county has identified Commercial-Industrial Transition Activity Nodes (CITAN) in purple. Current zoning within these areas varies, but it is land focused on designated road intersections that within either 10-year or 20-year transition areas is seen as appropriate for retail, commercial, manufacturing and other industrial uses.

CITAN Buckhorn – 719 acres

CITAN West Efland – 242 acres

CITAN East Efland – 433 acres

Buckhorn Area Study

The Buckhorn Area Study is a technical study of future land use and potential utility services to identify properties that could be zoned for nonresidential purposes and best support economic development, while balancing the cost of utility service extensions. This report uses GIS mapping to determine parcels most suitable for development within the study area. This process allows for a technical review of multiple development factors including: developable acres, preservation areas, mean slope, watershed, sewer infrastructure, water infrastructure, interstate access, interstate visibility, roadway access, and access to existing rail.

SWOT Analysis

The Orange County Economic Development office contracted the services of Timmons Group to conduct a site specific SWOT (strengths, weakness, opportunities, threats) analysis and to provide a proposed action plan based on the results. This analysis reviewed existing Economic Development Districts within Orange County.


This study primarily focused on the three Orange County Economic Development Districts (EDDs) that were established in 1981: Eno EDD (approximately 530 acres located in the eastern portion of the County, adjacent to the Durham County line, along the Interstate 85/Highway 70 corridor); Hillsborough EDD (area encompasses all four corners of the Interstate 40 exchange exit 261 south of Hillsborough. 

This 637 acre area includes the Waterstone Business Park, home to UNC Hospitals’) and the Buckhorn EDD (the western portion of Orange County just off exit 157 from Interstate 85/40). In addition to the EDDs, five Commercial-Industrial Transition Activity Nodes (CITANs) are included in the review, along with the U.S. 70/Cornelius Street Corridor located in Hillsborough.