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Toyota Racing facility nearly up to speed

By Jessie Burchette
jburchette@salisburypost.com
Toyota Racing Development’s new facility off Peach Orchard Road is almost ready for operations.
The 35,000-square-foot building is nearly complete, and officials expect to begin moving in equipment and personnel in late August and early September.
Toyota retained most of the trees along Peach Orchard Road, and they screen the new building from neighbors and passing motorists.
While this will be the first business to open in Toyota’s Performance Technology Park, other companies are looking at the five other lots on the 89-acre tract.
Toyota has launched an aggressive campaign, hiring Percival McGuire of Charlotte to market the property.
The Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission is working with Toyota. Robert Van Geons, executive director of the organization, said Toyota is reaching out to the racing industry and racing-related community to aggressively market the property.
Van Geons met this week with Toyota officials to discuss the company’s facility and the plans for the park.
“We’re working together to get the right types of clients,” said Van Geons. “There’s really positive interest from companies looking to be in close proximity to Toyota.”
Van Geons said the park could accommodate a race team, engine shop, parts manufacturer or marketing firm. “It has great flexibility,” he said. And, he said, Toyota has a vested interest in who locates there.
“We’re all working together to get the right type of clients,” Van Geons said. The EDC is showing the property, as is the broker, Rush Dunaway with Percival McGuire.
Toyota’s Peach Orchard Road location will house its NASCAR competition group as well as chassis engineering operations.
Officials have said the facility will employ between 40 and 50 people with an average annual wage of $70,000.
Toyota Racing Development is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Toyota conducted a multi-state search before deciding on the Charlotte area, the center of NASCAR country. Rowan won over sites in Cabarrus and Iredell counties.
The Rowan County Board of Commissioners agreed to rebate 75 percent of the county taxes on the expected $22 million investment for five years. That’s expected to total $519,000.
A division of Toyota bought the 89-acres from the W.A. Cline family for slightly more than $23,000 per acre.

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