The relocation of Precision Swiss Products Inc.'s headquarters to the International Logistics Park of North Carolina will bring the first industrial tenant to one of two long-vacant megasites in the Cape Fear region.
It's a milestone that has been about a decade in the making, said Bill Early, executive director of Brunswick Business and Industry Development (Brunswick BID).
North Carolina was in the running with South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada and Florida for Precision Swiss Products' new headquarters, Early said. And within the state, Brunswick was one of four counties being considered by the company.
Precision Swiss Products (PSP) is a major producer of small, high-precision parts for the aerospace, medical device and semiconductor industries. The California-based operation currently employs about 100 people, Early said.
Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced
PSP had chosen the International Logistics Park for its headquarters relocation, with plans to create 125 jobs and invest more than $9.3 million in the region.
Local, state and regional economic development officials have been working on the PSP jobs project for about six months, Early said.
The company also plans to bring manufacturing to the new site and employ machinists, shipping and receiving workers and quality control personnel, along with executive and administrative staff, according to a news release.
What ultimately lured Precision Swiss Products to the county, however, was the availability of its speculative building space, currently in development, Early said.
That speculative space, dubbed the International Commerce Center, is being developed in the International Logistics Park by Wilmington-based Cameron Management and Greensboro-based Windsor Commercial, the general contractor.
The idea that speculative building space would draw companies to the region has been a recent economic development and commercial real estate model, which until Tuesday's announcement, had only been a theory.
The International Commerce Center is one of several speculative buildings being brought about throughout the region in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties.
"There is a very limited supply of buildings. That's why it's so important for us right now to be pushing for the development of spec buildings,"Early said. "Most of the buildings that are currently available are either older buildings that require a lot of upfit. And there have been some spec buildings throughout the state that have been built due to the shortage of buildings."
The $8.5 million International Commerce Center is the first commercial development at the two megasites. The International Logistics Park and Mid-Atlantic Industrial Rail Park consist of more than 1,000 acres each.
"Both of these parks were started roughly 10 years ago. And part of the challenge is that we had some obstacles by not having the infrastructure at the sites," Early said.
Brunswick and Columbus counties, along with economic development officials, have brought in the necessary utilities to the sites, including water and sewer, and fiber internet, to improve its marketability.
PSP's future headquarters and manufacturing operation is slated to be located in 60,000 square feet of the 150,000-square-foot International Commerce Center, Early said.
The company is working with the developer to outfit the space to fit its needs while under construction in the International Logistics Park, Early said, adding "we have some great partners with Cameron Management and Windsor Commercial to meet the specific needs of the company."
Cameron Management officials last year announced their intent
to build the International Commerce Center.
"We are pleased with the governor's announcement and the positive impact these announcements are going to have in our region," Bryan Greene, a broker with Cameron Management, said Tuesday.
Early said Precision Swiss Products is anticipated to have access to the building this fall and start operations sometime in the early part of 2022.
Economic development officials will continue their marketing efforts to bring other companies to the sites, Early said, adding that the efforts may get a boost from PSP's relocation decision.
"I've felt like for a long time that once we could get one of the parks started and have a building, something physical, on-site and have someone in one of those buildings," Early said, "that would stimulate more growth and development."