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Business Park Continues To Lure Tenants

By Jenny Callison, posted May 5, 2023
Coastal Millwork Supply, whose new facility plans are shown above, is one of two Wilmington manufacturing companies looking to relocate to the county’s Blue Clay Business Park. (Rendering c/o Coastal Millwork Supply)
New Hanover County officials recently voted to accept bids for two parcels in the county-owned Blue Clay Business Park.

Both proposals were submitted to the county board of commissioners by Scott Satterfield, CEO of Wilmington Business Development.

The first, dubbed Project Cab, is a potential expansion of Coastal Millwork Supply Co., which manufactures doors, cabinets and closet systems, according to Satterfield. The company, he said, has outgrown its current space at 1301 S. 13th St., near Greenfield Lake.

 “Our goal is to keep those assets here as well as the employee base,” Satterfield told the commissioners in April.

 The company is associated with Risley Padula, a provider and installer of interior trims. Both Coastal Millwork Supply and Risley Padula serve clients across the state, and both plan to move to the new facility.

Satterfield said Coastal Millwork Supply has made an offer of nearly $233,800 for a 5.5-acre parcel in the business park, a price of $42,500 per acre. The company plans to invest more than $7.5 million in a new facility that will consist of about 55,000 square feet of manufacturing space and about 7,000 of office space. The company also expects to add 25 new employees to its existing workforce of 50 people.

There is potential for a future expansion – a further investment of $3 million – that could add another 11,500 square feet of manufacturing space and 3,000 square feet of office space.

Coastal Millwork Supply’s offer is contingent on the county’s ability to install water and sewer infrastructure to the site by the end of the year, Satterfield said.

The commissioners approved the bid unanimously.

The second bid is for a 5.02-acre site in the business park. The purchase would make way for a potential expansion of FFT Cabinetry, and was referred to by Satterfield as Project Set. FFT, owned by Jeff Futch, designs and manufactures custom items for kitchens, bathrooms and closets.

Satterfield said that, like Coastal Millwork, FFT Cabinetry has outgrown its existing 10,000-square-foot facility at 6426 Windmill Way and needs additional space to accelerate and expand its work on custom closets and storage systems.

FFT is offering about $213,000 for the acreage, again, at a price of $42,500 per acre, and plans to invest between $5 million and $7.5 million to create a 50,000-plus square-foot building, with the possibility of a future expansion of 25,000 additional square feet of space. The company would add 10 new jobs, Satterfield said.

Again, the purchase agreement is contingent upon the county’s completion of infrastructure installation by the end of 2023. 

Given those conditions, the commissioners voted unanimously to accept FFT’s bid.

“We need to light a fire under the providers of water and sewer,” to make sure that infrastructure deadline is met, Commissioner Rob Zapple said.

The delay has been caused by roadway-related changes made by the N.C. Department of Transportation, county manager Chris Coudriet responded. Those changes required engineers to redesign the layout of water and sewer pipes, he explained.

Satterfield gave commissioners an update on the purchase by Francini Marble and Granite of another site at the park. That transaction is in the final stages of due diligence and expected to close in May. Development of Francini’s 100,000-square-foot distribution facility will proceed when the utilities are installed, Satterfield said.

More than 40 acres of buildable land remain to be sold at the business park.
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