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City and county offer $11.5M in tax breaks for proposed plant at Berkeley Park

The Henderson County Board of Commissioners and the Hendersonville City Council voted last week to authorize $11.5 million in tax incentives in an effort to lure a manufacturing company that would invest $185 million and bring 117 jobs paying at least $52,400 a year at a new plant at Berkeley Mills Park.

Brittany Brady, president of the Partnership for Economic Development, told commissioners that the company, which has a location in North Carolina, is looking at three other sites in the U.S.
With city and county approval of the incentives, the company leadership will evaluate all four proposals and make a decision by the July 1, Brady said. The company plans to make the $185 million investment from 2023 to 2026 — $80 million to construct a building (not including land acquisition) and $105 million in equipment — and bring on the labor from 2025 to 2027, she said. The waived county property taxes would total $5,939,588 over seven years.
“This would be the largest economic development project in our history,” Commissioner Michael Edney said during the board’s April 20 meeting. “All these incentives are based on rebates after they’ve paid. There’s an investment that incentivizes the company to come here.”
Later that day, the City Council voted to offer tax incentives totaling $5.5 million over five years. The council also voted to consider relocating and upsizing waterlines to serve the site at a cost of up to $1.39 million and to sell 21.5 acres of the 54-acre Berkeley Mills Park property for the project.
The property is near Berkeley Mills Ballpark on Balfour Road but does not include the historic baseball stadium, City Manager John Connet said. Berkeley Mills acquired the 54-acre tract in 1946 and donated it to the city in 2010 with the stipulation that the land be used as a public park. In order to develop the site for a manufacturing plant, the company, the city and Kimberly Clark would have to amend the donation agreement.
“The prospect knows if they choose our site they’ll have to work that out between us and Kimberly Clark,” Connet said.
“It’s zoned industrial and we needed 21 acres and they were looking for property that a public entity owns,” he said. “For the city it’s the largest (manufacturing investment) that I’m aware of. Absolutely, I think it’s a good thing for the city and the county.”