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Integro gets tax break on expansion

SALISBURY — A seven-year incentive grant will save Integro Technologies $163,079 in city taxes.
But the technology company’s plans to build a 41,800-square-foot headquarters building and make a $4 million investment downtown should still lead to $120,564 in new revenue for the city over the first 10 years.
Salisbury City Council voted 4-0 Tuesday for an economic incentive grant for Integro that will rebate 85 percent of the company’s real and personal property taxes in the city for seven years.
Over that time, according to projections, Salisbury would collect $191,858 in revenue from Integro’s new location, but it will rebate through “incentive grants” $163,079.
Over 10 years, Salisbury would collect an estimated $283,643 before rebates. The incentive grants, worth roughly $23,300 a year, would end at seven years.
The projections are based on the city’s current property tax rate of 63.74 cents per $100 valuation.
The new Integro headquarters is expected to be built and completed in the 300 block of South Main Street by Dec. 31, 2014.
Robert Van Geons, executive director of the RowanWorks Economic Development Commission, and Shawn Campion, vice president of Integro Technologies were on hand for Tuesday’s council action.
Campion has said the company’s expansion in Salisbury will lead to eight additional jobs, with the average pay and full benefits of each position estimated at $72,500 a year.
Besides receiving the tax incentive grants, Integro will purchase .9 acres of city-owned property on South Main Street for $250,000. The site includes the Farmers Market location and the former GX Fitness club.
The city will be responsible for demolition and site preparation.
The two-story Integro building will include 10,800 square feet dedicated to key-man offices and small technology company startups — a business incubator.
Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy said the overall project will increase the city tax base, create jobs, provide a business incubator and perhaps offer future employment for local college graduates and internships for high school students.
Councilwoman Karen Alexander predicted Integro will be a catalyst to attract other high-tech companies. More than once during Tuesday’s discussion, participants talked about Integro’s interactions with Fortune 500 companies.
Integro is described in the project analysis as a “full-service machine vision and ID integrator providing turnkey product solutions, consulting and support services for a wide range of industries.”
In simpler terms, it provides expertise in solving complex industrial problems.
“Over 500 clients worldwide rely on Integro’s expertise to solve their most demanding vision applications on-time and within budget,” Van Geons’ project report said.
Integro was founded in 2001 and has outgrown its 16,000-square-foot Salisbury location, now leased, on North Lee Street. The company currently employs 18 people.
Salisbury attorney Dick Huffman, who served on the Downtown Salisbury Inc. board for six years, including a term as president, said there has never been a project during that time as big as this one.
Huffman said the impact on Salisbury will be incalculable. He noted Campion looked elsewhere inside and outside of Rowan County, “but he wanted to be here.”
“I think it’s a great project that any community would like in (its) downtown,” Van Geons added.
Alexander said Campion’s having his business downtown will be a good fit for his family, since the Campions already live in the central business district.
“This is a pretty big deal,” Councilman Brian Miller said, predicting it will pay dividends for the city in the future.
Miller and others noted Integro was one the first companies in Salisbury to take advantage and become a customer of the city’s broadband cable utility.
“We believe that this asset, combined with the right real estate product, will encourage similar operations to locate in Salisbury,” Campion said in a Feb. 8 letter to Mayor Paul Woodson.
The eight jobs created would include two field service engineers, two application engineers, two sales people, a designer and a technician.
The project also is expected to provide 47 construction jobs.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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