DAVIE COUNTY ASHLEY FURNITURE PLANT WILL BE THE LARGEST FURNITURE MANUFACTURING/DISTRIBUTION PLANT IN NORTH AMERICA!
It was nearly a year ago that Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture announced that Davie County would be the new home for what would be the company’s largest facility, and eventually, the largest furniture manufacturing and distribution center in the United States with 3.8 million square feet of building space. But the highly anticipated project, slated to bring at least 550 new jobs to the area, had been stuck almost in a state of limbo because of environmental issues created by a 4 acre patch of standing water at the 668 acre site on which the $80-million facility will be built.
Thankfully, those issues were largely resolved on March 28th of this year when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) gave Ashley a temporary permit to build on or near four acres it had deemed as “wetlands,” a finding that contradicted the conclusions of third-party experts hired by Ashley to do an environmental evaluation before purchasing the land.
An invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony will be held at 5 PM on Wednesday, April 17 in celebration of clearing this significant hurdle, one that could have delayed construction for many more months or even years. Governor Pat McCrory will be in attendance along with other state and local dignitaries and business leaders.
While Ashley Furniture chairman Ron Wanek is understandably frustrated by the delays, he is still excited about the acquisition of the land for the company’s flagship facility. “This has to be the most perfect site I have ever seen,” Wanek said in a February, 2013 interview with Furniture Today. “With all the sites we have that we have outgrown [in the past], this was a dream.”
The US Army Corps of Engineers permit clears the way for the construction of a a 1,040,000 square foot distribution center on Baltimore Road in Advance, NC which will be part of a complex that will eventually comprise 3.8 million square feet of building space dedicated to the company’s manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution divisions.
Ashley Furniture’s decision to make the Davie County facility the linchpin of its operations was just one of several wins for the county over the last 18 months. Carolina Precision Plastics announced in March of last year that it would invest $5.3 million in the creation of a manufacturing facility that would lead to 140 new jobs with an average wage of $39,183 (the county average was $28,808 at the time of the announcement). Pro Refrigeration, Inc. said it will be creating an East Coast production facility in Mocksville that will entail a $4.9 million investment and the need for yet another 85 jobs. Adding to the bright outlook is the slated completion of the $100,00,000 Wake Forest Baptist-West Campus, bringing high-tech professionals and top-flight health care to Davie County.
A key player in helping match companies in search of new opportunities with critical infrastructure and land-related resources is the Davie County Economic Development Commission. Visit the Davie County EDC web site to learn what Davie County has to offer for businesses of all sizes in one of North Carolina’s fastest-growing counties.