Commissioners amend incentive agreement for industrial park, vote not to renew hangar leases

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, June 8, 2022

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved amending an incentive agreement with a company planning to construct six shell buildings totaling 2.6 million square feet on Long Ferry Road.

Red Rock Developments, a South Carolina-based company with an office in Charlotte, is planning to invest about $200 million to construct an approximately 384-acre industrial park not far from Chewy’s fulfillment center at exit 81 on I-85.

Commissioners in April approved an incentive request from Red Rock to reimburse the company up to $4.2 million for water, sewer and road improvements to serve the new development. The industrial park will require several new turn lanes and traffic lights.

The incentive was approved with the stipulation that the money would be paid upon the lease or sale of substantially all the facilities and property in phase one of the project to a third-party job creator. Phase one of the project includes the construction of the two largest buildings in the industrial park totaling 1.65 million square feet. Red Rock will invest $117 million to build out phase one. The company anticipates the buildings in the first phase will be completed in the second quarter of 2024.

On Monday, commissioners agreed to amend the agreement to reimburse Red Rock upon issuance of a certificate of completion for the two buildings in phase one. Even though the reimbursement is no longer dependent on tenants occupying the two buildings in phase one, Red Rock is hopeful to have tenants secured before the buildings are completed.

“We fully expect to have a tenant in place prior to the end of shell construction, but if not the $4.2 million allows us to do the carrying cost,” said Todd Ward, senior vice president of planning for Red Rock. “We believe in Rowan County and as such our phase one will be a $117 million investment.”

Ward said the company views the $4.2 million incentive differently than other incentives, such as tax abatement, because it is purely public infrastructure that’ll serve “more than just the Red Rock development and allow for future needs going down Long Ferry Road.”

On Monday, commissioners set a public hearing for the 6 p.m. meeting on June 20 regarding Red Rock’s rezoning request for the industrial park.

County not renewing several airport leases

After meeting in closed session, the Rowan County Board of Commissioners voted to not renew five hangar leases at the Mid-Carolina Regional Airport. The public airport located at 3670 Airport Loop provides hangar space to business and individuals.

The county will not be renewing hangar leases with Gordon Shannon, Carolina Avionics Group, NMG Aviation, Steven Weiland and Davey Amos. The county provided reasons for not renewing the leases in notice letters sent to each tenant.

In a notice sent to Shannon, County Attorney Jay Dees said the county’s inspection of hangar 26 showed the airplane being kept there is not “air worthy” and has not had annual inspections for more than a decade. In a notice sent to Carolina Avionics Group to the attention of Gary Jenkins, Dees said the review of hangar 44 indicated that personal property previously kept in other hangars has been moved and stored with personal property within the hangar, which violated the lease agreement that states “the hangar is to be used for storage of lessee’s aircraft only, otherwise this lease agreement is void.”

The letter sent to NMG Aviation to the attention of Karen Susan Baer-Gnagey said the airplane being kept in hangar 58 is owned by an individual different than the lessee, an act that declares the lease void.

The notice sent to Weiland, who shares hangar 61 with Amos, said his portion of the hangar (61-A) has been vacant for more than the current one year lease term. The notice intends to make 61-A available to an aircraft owner on the waitlist. The letter notifying Amos of non-renewal of hangar 61-B said the airplane stored there is not “air worthy” and has a de-registered tail number. The letter also states that Amos owns two hangars (T12 and T14) in which he is storing aircraft owned by others at “what we believe to be a substantially higher rates than those charged for closed-faced hangars leased by the county.”

Aircrafts and personal property located within each of the hangars must be removed by June 30, according to the notices of non-renewal.

In other meeting business:

• Commissioners approved two road name changes and tabled discussion on a third.

A small section of Organ Church Road that was “orphaned” from the primary road several years ago was renamed to Polka Dot Lane. The section of road services two residences and a utility site. A formerly unnamed drive off Vanderbilt Avenue was changed to Baby Bee Lane.

Planning staff recommended changing a no name drive off Jones Road to Sills Creek Trail, but Allen Lipscomb, who lives on the unnamed road, requested commissioners instead consider renaming the road Jones Farm Road. He said he was concerned renaming the road Sills Creek Trail would confuse mail carriers because there is a similarly named Sills Creek Lane, which is about four miles away. With Jones Farm Road being so similar to Jones Road, Lipscomb said that would at least put mail carriers near the right addresses.

“That way if they do get the address wrong, they’ll still be on the right road,” Lipscomb said.

Commissioners decided to table the renaming to give Planning Department staff time to investigate the potential for renaming the street Jones Farm Road.

• The board scheduled a public hearing for June 20 to consider an application from Betsy Brown to establish St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery as a Rowan County Historic Landmark. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and Cemetery is located at 1115 St. Andrews Church Road. The applicant wishes to designate the exterior of the church and the adjacent cemetery.

• Commissioners approved a request from Teijin, formerly Continental Structural Plastics, to amend an incentive agreement originally approved by the board to facilitate the company’s expansion at 6701 Statesville Blvd. In 2020, the company announced plans to invest $45 million in a building addition and new equipment, which would create 56 new jobs.

Supply chain issues delayed the project and the company requested the board to amend the incentive to reflect that. The company will now receive the grant for five separate tax years beginning with the assessment as of Jan. 1, 2022, rather than Jan. 1, 2021. The grant would be calculated using Jan. 1, 2021 as the baseline rather than Jan. 1, 2020. Teijin will have until Dec. 31, 2023 to create and fill the 56 new jobs rather than Dec. 31, 2022. The grant amount reimbursed to Teijin is determined by property taxes paid.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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