HAMLET — A year after receiving a $75,000 rural demolition grant, local officials broke ground Thursday for a second location for one of Richmond County’s manufacturers.
County, state and company dignitaries gathered at the entrance of the Marks Creek Industrial Park to commemorate the construction of Global Packaging’s future location, which is at the same site of the former Tartan Yachts manufacturing facility.
Built in the 1950s, the Hamlet plant was the second site for Tartan, which was based in Grand River, Ohio, according to the company’s website. A downturn in the marine industry in the late ‘80s resulted in manufacturing being consolidated in Ohio.
With the property sitting vacant for more than two decades, Economic Developer Martie Butler applied for and last February received a grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce Rural Infrastructure Authority to clear the site for future use.
County attorney Bill Webb is also on the Rural Infrastructure board.
“Our economic development office took hold of a vacant site with no property taxes paid since 2011, and frankly, it was a bit of an eyesore,” said Kenneth Robinette, former chairman of the Richmond County Commissioners. “We’re overjoyed that new life is being breathed into the property, and will provide a much more appealing entrance to the Marks Creek Industrial Park.”
According to a press release from Butler:
“The Rural Demolition program provides grants to local governments to support the demolition of a publicly-owned, persistently vacant building to encourage site rehabilitation and site availability for economic development purposes. Eligible applicants are units of local government located in either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, or a rural census tract in a Tier 3 county. Richmond County is considered a Tier 1 county, and this grant was the only Rural Demolition grant approved for the current state budget cycle.”
Pennsylvania-based Global Packaging, which opened its first Richmond County location 10 years ago at facility acquired from Georgia Pacific, opted to build a second plant at the site.
The land was cleared within the past few months, according to Butler.
“Global Packaging has been a proud member of the Richmond County community since 2011, and we’re looking forward to continue to prosper in the area,” Global Packaging CEO Tony Maginnis said in a statement. “With community support like we’ve received from the local government, residents, and fellow businesses in the area, locating our new facility in Richmond County made a ton of sense.”
Butler said the new facility will feature more than 100,000 square feet, to be completed in several phases and is part of the company’s $5 million investment into the community. In the past six years, Global Packaging has created 40 jobs.
With the new facility, the company’s investment over the past decade will total around $18 million.
“We are thrilled that Global Packaging has chosen to expand their footprint in Richmond County, and equally elated that the state of North Carolina approved the grant request,” said Commissioner Jeff Smart, current chairman of the board. “It speaks volumes when a long-standing member of the community chooses to continue to grow in the area, and that the state recognizes our continued efforts for industrial growth. We’re very excited that industry is continuing to grow in Richmond County.”
Other dignitaries at the small ceremony included: state Rep. Ben Moss, a former commissioner; Commissioner Don Bryant; Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless; Trip Myrick of Myrick Construction, which is the contractor for the project; and Gene McLaurin, vice chairman of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (as well as former Rockingham mayor and state senator).