Granite Quarry moves ahead in efforts to land cold storage facility

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 8, 2018

GRANITE QUARRY — When it comes to the possible location of a cold storage facility off the new Chamandy Drive, the town of Granite Quarry is in hot pursuit.

At the request of the Rowan Economic Development Commission, the Granite Quarry Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution Monday night setting wheels in motion for a $500,000 Economic Infrastructure Program grant request to the N.C. Department of Commerce.

That money would be used to extend Chamandy Drive in the town and county’s new industrial park off Heilig Road by 650 feet and also extend a 12-inch water line by the same distance. The estimated cost of that work is $507,000.

Those improvements are important in the proposed $9.5 million construction of an 81,000-square-foot cold storage facility by WJD Cold Storage LLC. If built as planned, it would provide 40 jobs and roughly $284,000 in new tax revenue to Granite Quarry over 10 years.

The $5.6 million first phase of that project would be 42,000 square feet capable of holding 3,500 pallets. At the earliest, if a grant is approved, it would be built by the end of the year.

The second phase possibly could be completed by the end of 2021, and the additional square footage would allow the facility to hold 7,000 pallets.

The town owns the 16.83-acre parcel in question, but it has no road access or water service without the extensions for which the grant is being sought.

Scott Shelton, vice president of operations for the Rowan EDC, told aldermen that WJD Cold Storage was established in 2012, and the principals have extensive experience in frozen food distribution and logistics.

The principals include Bryan Duncan, William Malloy, Joseph Emmons and Jacqueline Patterson, according to Shelton’s report.

In adopting the resolution Monday night, aldermen are showing support for this project’s grant application, their willingness to supply a 5 percent match of $25,000 and authorization to allow the town manager to execute any required documents.

The $25,000 match from the town would go toward grant administration costs.

Shelton said the new jobs in question would pay about $41,600 a year. Discussions about the facility go back as far as 2009, Shelton said, “and it’s finally getting some traction.”

Alderman John Linker asked whether Rowan County is considering any funding for the project. Shelton said the county might consider its standard incentives grant based on property tax breaks.

Mayor Bill Feather asked who would pick up any costs over the $500,000 a state grant might possibly cover. “We’ll certainly pursue other avenues” to make up that difference, Shelton said.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.