DABC Director reports potential sale of Fiamm Building

Development Authority of Burke County Director Jonathan Lupo and Chairwoman Lindsai Gentry.

Development Authority of Burke County Director Jonathan Lupo and Chairwoman Lindsai Gentry.

The Fiamm Building, located along Burke Veterans Parkway, east of the intersection of Burke Veterans Parkway and Liberty Street, is under contract pending a 180-day due diligence. The interested buyer is a furniture manufacturing company looking to use the Burke County location for their logistic and warehouse operations.

“They supply to stores like Lowes and Home Depot and some of the big stores,” said Development Authority Director Jonathan Lupo. “They will be boxing everything, warehousing it there and shipping it out.”

The approximate 154,500 Sq. Ft. building is contained on a 30-acre parcel, and includes 24-foot clear ceilings, eight dock-high doors, one drive-in bay, and three rail service bays. It is listed for a price of $2.6 million, according to multiple websites.

Lupo updated the Development Authority panel on seven active projects he has discussed since they hired him in March. Three business inquiries centered around the Raymond Tract property in the Burke Business Park, four more centered around the General Electric building, located on Burke Veterans Parkway, he said. However, the DABC rejected two of the companies who expressed interest in the Raymond Tract.

“One was a heavy industry that would put off a lot of emissions and with where the Raymond Tract is, a residential area, I just didn’t think it was a very good fit,” Lupo said. “The second one, we had to withdraw because we did not have the capacity for water with the city.”

Lupo advised the panel that, with where the DABC stands with Hart Dairy’s eventual water needs, combined with current water capacity issues, the panel is close to having to admit they can’t accommodate any large industries unless more investment is made. However, Lupo had nothing new to report on Hart Dairy’s progress.

Regarding the four companies who expressed interest in the General Electric building, two of them are international companies. The building will require a lot of changes but generally meets either company’s needs, Lupo said. Workforce availability is the biggest hesitation. At least one of the companies is involved in manufacturing transformers.

“I think they are 100% if the numbers work for them,” he stated. “One of them I talked to Friday, and they want to come out and their flight would be 19 hours to get here, so they are really interested in the building.”

The panel also voted to adopt their 2023 budget, keeping it the same as 2022. Salaries and benefits total $187,500, office operations stand at $35,650 and economic development expenses amount to $143,860.

“I concur with letting you get a full year in to see where things are going,” commented County Manager Merv Waldrop. “I think you have enough in the budget to adequately fund your operation.”

The Development Authority of Burke County met Tuesday, May 24.

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