The Board of Commissioners of Buncombe County, North Carolina yesterday approved an $18.38 million package of incentives for an economic development project codenamed “Project X” without revealing the identity of the company involved.
As per the agreement, Project X would invest $126 million for setting up a new manufacturing facility, including purchase of new equipment and machinery.
The company will create 52 new full-time jobs with average annual wages of $40,000, and will retain hundreds of existing full-time jobs. This is higher than the median wage in the County, and the new investment will additionally create more indirect jobs.
The existing full-time jobs in the area currently pay average annual wages of $57,000. The total annual labor income impact of the company’s existing and new jobs is pegged at $34 million.
In order to secure the expansion and retain the company’s existing jobs, Buncombe County is offering them a $2.68 million cash grant, to be paid out over a decade from 2015 through 2024. The company will in turn commit to creating 52 new jobs, and they would have to retain existing jobs for ten years.
Project X has also been offered a land swap deal that will cost the county $15.7 million, including constructing a 20,000-square-foot-building on one property and then swapping it for another one to be used for constructing a 125,000-square-foot facility.
The site preparation and construction costs for this second building would be $10.6 million, and it would then be leased for 15 years to Project X for locating a facility for manufacturing components.
Buncombe County expects additional tax revenues worth around $5.616 million over the next ten years, generated by increased property taxes over the site improvements and sales tax from equipment and material purchase.
Buncombe County’s largest manufacturers that have between 500-1000 employees are Eaton Corporation, Borgwarner Turbo Systems and Kendro Laboratory Products LP.
Borgwarner makes turbochargers for vehicle engines, while Kendro makes lab equipment. Eaton Corporation (NYSE: ETN) is a global power management company that produces electrical components and systems, and has facilities located in Arden, North Carolina.