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SALISBURY, NC-Site preparation for the planned 550-acre Platinum Business Park could get under way by first quarter 2001 if Winston-Salem developer Rick Stanley completes his land assemblage for the project shortly. The site is southwest of here on eight-lane Interstate 85 and about 50 miles northeast of Downtown Charlotte.

The project has deep pockets behind it. Stanley is president of Platinum Construction Co. which is financed by software magnate Andrew Filipowski. He sold his Platinum Technology International last year for $3.5 billion.

Stanley is three-quarters of the way to his assemblage target. He already has acquired 320 acres and has also bought the site of the former Carolina Tuff-Lite Corp. He anticipates the retail portion of the venture will be leased quickly because it will offer a truck stop, hotel and highway commercial-zoned parcels.

Stanley says development costs alone could reach $20 million if he can patch together the entire 550 acres. He estimates his total investment could run as high as $250 million, once the park is fully occupied.

Platinum Construction Co., which has been primarily a residential builder and developer, also plans a NASCAR-type practice racetrack on the site. The Salisbury economic development commission says the community needs the park to provide jobs for local residents.

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