Major economic development project in the works

Published 9:29 am Thursday, January 11, 2018

County commissioners last week took a step that could put Davie at an even greater advantage for economic development.

They approved starting the process to apply for a $1 million Rural Economic Development loan. The Town of Mocksville was scheduled to vote on the proposal Tuesday night.

The loan, obtained through EnergyUnited, would be paid back by the developer over a 10-year period. There would be no cost to the county or town, said County Commission Chair Terry Renegar.

If received, the grant would allow Windsor Development to invest in a 70-acre tract that could accommodate three large industrial buildings. The first would be 300,000 square feet with an estimated cost of $15 million, with an estimated $50 million cost when the three large projects are completed.

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, made the request. He said there are four companies looking at one building now.

Companies looking to expand or move here want buildings they can move into within 90 days, he said. While Hollingsworth Companies has provided the county with smaller industrial buildings, the new project would put the county in the running for larger projects.

With the Randolph/Guilford area in the running for a vehicle manufacturing plant, companies that provide services to that plant are already looking at sites nearby, Bralley said.

“This truly does give us an advantage for competitiveness in North Carolina,” said County Manager John Eller.

The loan, if received, would be secured by an irrevocable letter of credit from the developer.

In a letter to Tim Holder, vice president of sales and economic development for Energy United, Eller wrote:

“The primary purpose will be to fund needed rural projects for job creation and enhancement by allowing a private developer to grade a site and take whatever means needed to create a spec building in order to leverage additional dollars on up to three buildings.

“We anticipate that the developer plans to invest more than $50 million in this project so the return on investment will be great.”

According to a resolution adopted by county commissioners:

“The project, the new jobs and the creation of the new tax base will stimulate the local economy and will promote business within Davie County. This investment will yield the potential for hundreds of new jobs from the tract and will result in an increase of the tax base valuation of the property.”