An unnamed New Jersey-based company eyeing a Navassa industrial site for its manufacturing operations still appears to have an interest in the property.
The company is continuing its evaluations of the site, Bill Early, executive director for Brunswick Business & Industry Development, said Thursday.
A grant application for the economic development project, dubbed “Project Pavement,” which was approved by the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners in January
, had been submitted to the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA).
But when the authority met Thursday, it could not take up the application, Early said in an email.
"The Rural Infrastructure Authority cannot consider any application for the Building Reuse Grant until the company has made their final decision," Early explained. "Since the company was continuing their evaluation, the application was not eligible to go to the RIA at their meeting this week."
"The application was postponed at the request of the company, while they continue to do their due diligence on this option," he said.
State officials with the grant program have visited the Navassa site as required, Early said.
Officials are seeking a Rural Development Building Reuse Grant to aid renovations to the former U.S. Marine Building site at 100 Quality Drive in Navassa.
County commissioners' approval of the grant application in January was a request for a $700,000 grant from the state, according to county documents
. The proposed grant would require a minimum of 5 percent or $35,000 local match from the county.
Should the grant be awarded, it would potentially help the company offset costs of making improvements to the existing site. Certain alterations are required, including the addition of dock level doors, construction of a manufacturing room, compound room, site work and parking improvements, according to county documents.
The economic development project has been in the works for several months, Early has previously said.
The project had determined that the building was suitable for the company's manufacturing and warehousing needs for its anticipated growth, according to county documents.
“A business evaluates its options very similar to the way consumers do … that’s what most of these companies do,” Early said Thursday.
Early added Thursday that he hopes the grant application will go before the Rural Infrastructure Authority at its April meeting.