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Ask Matt ... about hanger plant, plant 'hangar'

Cooper Construction Co. is nearing completion on a 15-acre greenhouse for Lakeside Produce Co. on Ladson Road. [MATT MATTESON/Hendersonville Lightning] Cooper Construction Co. is nearing completion on a 15-acre greenhouse for Lakeside Produce Co. on Ladson Road. [MATT MATTESON/Hendersonville Lightning]

Q. There are a number of major construction projects going on in the county right now. Can you give us an update?


One of the largest industrial buildings in the county is nearing completion in Fletcher. Mainetti, a global manufacturer of coat hangers and packaging, has erected a 300,000-square-foot building on Mills Gap Road next to Cane Creek. The structure is equal in size to six Publix grocery stores. Mainetti, which will employ about 120 people, has an interesting history that goes back to the 1950s when Italian race car driver Romeo Mainetti teamed up with his brother, who worked for a plastics company, to make plastic clothes hangers.
Puzzled by why a company would need such a large building just to make coat hangers in a declining world economy, I pitched the question to one who knew the business – Jeff Miller of Miller’s Fine Dry Cleaning. “Yes, we would love to find a good dependable source for coat hangers,” he said. “We used to get ours from China but they didn’t hold up. Now we get our hangers mostly from Mexico and Vietnam. There are few coat hangers made in the USA anymore.” Mainetti has recently laid off workers at a major plastic coat hanger plant in the UK due to a slump in retail clothing business, adding to the puzzlement
Readers have inquired about the land filling operation on N.C. 191 across from Waycaster Tire in Mills River. Landowner Dale Reece acquired the 20.5 acre tract last July and is now raising part of it to street level with fill dirt that came from the nearby Amazon site. “We’re not totally committed to what will go there,” said Reece, “But they will be nice commercial buildings and something the community needs.” A pizza restaurant is one possibility because Amazing Pizza Company rents a paved spot on the site for its pizza trailer. “We’re moving slowly because of the unknowns of the coronavirus, “he added. “Eventually we may have a canoe launching area along the Mills River.” The rear portion of the property is low-lying and falls in a flood zone.
Not far from the Reece tract is a 15-acre greenhouse nearing completion on Ladson Road. Cooper Construction is the general contractor for the hangar sized greenhouses that will be used for growing tomatoes and other vegetables. It will be the largest greenhouse in the state and will employ 50 people. Lakeside Produce Company, the Canadian firm that owns the greenhouse, plans to build two more on the 116 acres it purchased.
Site preparation has just started on the first of three separate 280,000-square-foot greenhouses in Etowah on property that was once the site of the failed Seven Falls golf course development. Last October representatives from New York-based BrightFarms announced that the greenhouse complex would grow and package salad greens using new cost-saving technology.
Motorists who travel Clear Creek Road have noticed major clear cutting at the intersection of Nix Road on land that for years had been touted by Vulcan Materials as “Wildlife Habitat.” Denise Hallett, an official at Vulcan Materials’ office in Winston-Salem, said they were clearing the land in order to relocate “overburden” material so the quarry can expand its footprint inside their 170 acre tract. Hallett confirmed that Vulcan would welcome a temporary concrete plant located on site but arrangements have not been finalized. She said that the I-26 widening contractor will need crushed stone to make concrete and the close proximity of the quarry to the concrete plant will reduce truck traffic on public roads. A temporary access road to the Interstate is a short distance from the proposed concrete plant site. I-26 will be widened from four to six lanes and work is well under way. Vulcan has been providing crushed stone (technically gneiss rock) for the local construction market at its Clear Creek Road site since 1962. Hallett added their quarry has “good geology.”

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