County commissioners will decide on tax incentives for unnamed e-commerce business

Published 12:05 am Sunday, November 14, 2021

SALISBURY — The Board of Commissioners on Monday will consider a tax incentive request for what could be Rowan County’s next major economic development project.

The company behind “Project Bishop” is an online retailer that “offers thousands of products to its customers and serves them from warehouses and fulfillment centers located throughout the United States.” The company is planning to establish an e-commerce fulfillment center in the Southeast, with Rowan County being a potential destination.

If Rowan County is chosen for the project, the company would create 1,000 new jobs over the next three years. Approximately 900 of these new jobs would be fulfillment-related positions. The remaining jobs would be supervisory and administrative positions.

The company would also invest approximately $400 million into the project through the construction of a new facility and the installation of major equipment. The majority of those improvements would be finished by early 2024.

The Rowan Economic Development Council is requesting commissioners give the company a modified level three grant extending nine years. The grant would have the county return 80% of the new real and personal property taxes paid by the company in the first five years. During years six and seven, the company would receive 40% of its new taxes paid back. During the final two years, the company would receive 25% of new taxes paid back. The county would have the ability to reduce the grant payment if the company fails to meet certain job creation goals.

“We’re trying to put together a strong incentive package for the project because we feel like it could have a tremendous impact on the county,” Scott Shelton, vice president of the Rowan Economic Development Council, told the Post.

The Rowan EDC is also requesting commissioners consider offering expedited local permitting review at no charge to the company. The fee for this service is typically $2,500.

The China Grove Town Council will be considering an additional incentive offer to the company at a called meeting on Nov. 16. The council will vote on whether it will offer a three-year investment grant, which would have the town return 50% of new taxes paid in the first two years and 40% of new taxes paid in the third year. 

The Rowan EDC is currently working to land a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) from the State of North Carolina for “Project Bishop.”

The Board of Commissioners will meet at 6 p.m. in the J. Newton Cohen Sr. Room on the second floor of the Rowan County Administration Building.

The meeting can be joined virtually at bit.ly/rowanboc1115 using password 111521 or by phone by dialing 602-753-0140, 720-928-9299 or 213-338-8477.