06/09/10 — Duplin County to partner with Wallace

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Duplin County to partner with Wallace

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on June 9, 2010 1:46 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County will be a "silent partner" in a contract between the Wallace Committee of 100 and Wilmington Industrial Development Inc.

The Wallace 100 Committee, dedicated to supporting development in the county, is contracting with the Wilmington-region not-for-profit organization to build and sell shell buildings to industries and businesses.

The potential for growth in the business relationship extends far beyond the Wallace town limits, committee member Wade Farrior told county commissioners.

The county commissioners voted Monday to use county money to pay the interest on the shell buildings, which will amount to about $12,600 this year. The money is likely to come from the county's economic development office's capital fund budget, but the amount was not originally included in the county's 2010-11 proposed budget.

The deal is potentially profitable for Wilmington Industrial Development, too, because the organization will have a wider variety of places and buildings to market to companies seeking to expand or relocate to the eastern part of the state, economic development director Heather Beard explained.

At the moment, Wilmington Industrial Development is marketing several buildings in Duplin County, including the Carter and Holley plant warehouses, the South Park shell building and the Amilon building in Wallace. Although the group could not provide specifics on any in-progress business deals, Farrior did say companies have shown interest in the properties.

"I've actually shown (a property) once myself last week," Farrior said.

The county's decision to pay the interest on the buildings will not require the county be part of any legally binding contract with the town of Wallace or Wilmington Industrial Development. The contract will remain between the Wallace 100 Committee and the organization.

"It's mutually beneficial," Farrior said.

The development organization is operating on short funding this year, and if the Wallace 100 Committee did not receive local funding, the group would be out of the contract.

The board voted unanimously to provide the funding.

"It's really a good deal for Duplin County," Commission Chairman Cary Turner said.