Manufacturer considering Rowan for 184 jobs, $120 million facility

SALISBURY — An unnamed manufacturing company could create 184 new jobs and invest more than $120 million in Rowan County, one of two locations in the running for a new production facility.

Robert Van Geons, executive director for RowanWorks Economic Development Commission, said he can’t name the company, which he called a respected North American-based manufacturer. Rowan and one other location in a competing southern state are vying for the deal, Van Geons said.

The new jobs would pay an average wage of more than $34,000 a year.

Van Geons is asking Rowan County commissioners to set a public hearing for Oct. 7 to consider the company’s request for free land and other economic incentives.

If the project moves forward as planned, Van Geons said he will be able to name the company by Sept. 27 at the latest, 10 days before the public hearing.

Dubbed “Project East,” the company is asking for a donation of 26 acres of county-owned land, but Van Geons said he could not reveal where.

The company also wants Rowan to return 75 percent of the new tax revenue it would generate for seven years. Under the county’s incentive rules, projects exceeding a $100 million investment can qualify for a return of up to 85 percent of new tax revenue for five years.

Revealing the company now or the land it wants could jeopardize the project, Van Geons said.

“There are still a lot of things in play with engineering estimates and grants and more,” he said.

The company is also negotiating with the state of North Carolina, Van Geons said. He said he could not name the type of manufacturing the company does without jeopardizing the deal and tipping off the company’s competition.

In a preliminary economic impact analysis, Van Geons said the company’s property taxes would generate $4.5 million for the county over 10 years, including fire district taxes.

With a 75 percent incentive grant, the company would save $4.2 million over seven years.

Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

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