Highlighting Monday night’s Statesville City Council meeting were three economic development issues: the approval of the developers agreement with Larkin Regional Commerce Park and approval of two economic development incentive grants for new industries. “These positive actions are significant steps in the future growth of the City,” said City Manager Ron Smith.
The Keith Corporation is developing the Larkin business park, located on more than 1,000 acres at exit 45 on I-77, southeast of Statesville. It plans to attract manufacturing, e-commerce and commercial businesses with a goal of adding $2.9 million a year in property tax revenue when it is built out.
The developers agreement is for Phase I of the development which includes plans for approximately $30 million of new construction, including a proposed one million square-foot building.
The City of Statesville will invest several million dollars in new utilities to the project including water and electric. “The water line extension is extremely important,” explained Smith, “as it will open up land for development along Amity Hill Rd. and that general area.
“This area (southeast Statesville) is one where we anticipate major growth, but the lack of utilities has been the limiting factor. City Council made a decision last year to plan for the extension of water to the area, and the Larkin development has given us an end user and a significant reason to actually construct the utilities,” said Smith.
Alan Lewis, a representative with the Keith Corporation, told Council that road, infrastructure and building construction will be underway by early spring 2020 at the latest.
The two economic development incentive grants were given to companies that are purchasing existing Statesville industries. Israeli-based Plasgad is setting up production in RPM Plastics on Speedball Rd. They will continue manufacturing plastics and retain the 32 existing employees as well as add 10 new employees.
Ashley Furniture is purchasing the Homestar operation on Meachem Rd. to manufacture ready-to-assemble furniture for regional markets. Ashley intends to increase the tax value of the property to $10 million. It will also retain 204 current employees and proposes the addition of 95 new employees.
Economic development incentive grants are based on the company’s investment and are given through tax rebates. Plasgad will receive a $58,000 incentive and Ashley will get a $187,400 incentive.
“A lot of work goes into these agreements,” stressed Smith. “Council has numerous meetings with prospective companies and representatives with the Iredell County Economic Development Corporation. Staff is responsible for preparing the specifications and costs for utilities associated with the projects and bringing them to Council for consideration, and on Monday two of those projects paid off.