The building in Mount Airy that previously housed Harvest Time Bread Co. could get a new lease on life in the form of a textile industry that would create 45 new jobs.
That unnamed manufacturer, which supplies products to the aerospace, automotive and hospitality industries, is considering locating at the Harvest Time facility. The latter closed its doors earlier this year, putting 57 people out of work.
“We’re trying to get everything done and pulled together with this project by Dec. 21,” said Todd Tucker, the president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership.
“So potentially, we’ll have some good news in mid-December,” the county’s chief industrial recruiter added Friday.
Tucker said there are some hurdles yet to be cleared before the company — described as a non-woven textile manufacturer — can set up shop in the existing building in Piedmont Triad West Industrial Park.
One item of business remaining concerns the offering of incentives to the industrial prospect by local government officials. This would include about $107,105 paid over an eight-year period, plus the conveyance by both the city and Surry County of some 14.8 acres of real property valued at $226,383.
With a building re-use and restoration grant of $8,700 from the North Carolina Rural Center added, the total city incentive package is $342,188.
After discussing the proposed incentives during a closed session Thursday night, the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners voted to set a public hearing to allow citizens to comment on the package being considered.
The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. during a regular meeting of the commissioners in the Municipal Building.
City documents show that the amount of the incentives is based on the property tax revenues Mount Airy anticipates from the project. Another factor is the expectation that the company will stimulate and diversify the local economy, promote business and provide employment opportunities.
The 45 jobs are to be created from 2013-2017, and the company would make an investment in the project of more than $7 million over five years, according to City Manager Barbara Jones.
“We still have a lot to do, but it looks positive,” Jones added of the economic-development prospect.
Tucker said Friday that if the deal is finalized, the company would have to revamp the former bakery manufacturing facilities for their new use related to textiles. That’s where the North Carolina Rural Center grant would play a role.
The textile company would be the third manufacturer to occupy the site, which earlier housed Gerards Bakery, another bread maker.
Local officials say the third time could be the charm in terms of commercial success at the former bakery location.
“I hope that’s the case,” Tucker said. “Maybe switching up the use (to textiles) might help.”
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.