Editor's Note: This version has been updated to include information from Tuesday afternoon's Pender County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Officials with a Burgaw-based music equipment manufacturer and supplier are hoping to buy a 40,000-square-foot building from Pender County.
The Pender County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to accept a $750,000 bid from Mojotone, an amplifier cabinet manufacturer and amplifier parts supplier founded in 2000, for the Pender Progress Shell Building at 137 Worth Beverage Drive in Burgaw. Additional funding for the $1.75 million property is expected to come from the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant (REDLG) program with the help of Four County Electric Membership Corp. and other agencies, commissioners indicated at their meeting Tuesday.
Through RDLEG, the USDA provides zero-interest loans and grants to utilities that lend funds to local businesses for projects to create and retain jobs, according to the USDA. In 2015, Four County EMC used a $2 million REDLG loan to help Acme Smoked Fish Corp.
, which has a plant at Pender Commerce Park, buy equipment to process and smoke salmon, herring and other fish, a USDA news release said.
Now that the Pender board has accepted the bid, a formal purchase contract for the building could be offered to Mojotone after a required upset bid period.
Mojotone CEO Michael McWhorter said the company has sold it’s 25,000-square-foot building on South Dudley Street in Burgaw and has two additional 5,000-square-foot buildings.
“We wanted to combine all three buildings into one space,” McWhorter explained.
On a more than 5-acre property in the Pender Progress Industrial Park off U.S. 117, the building that McWhorter hopes to buy was constructed in 2011 through a partnership between Pender Progress Corp., Pender County, Four County EMC, the town of Burgaw and Wilmington Industrial Development (now Wilmington Business Development), according to previous marketing materials.
McWhorter said Mojotone was helped in its quest for new space by several individuals, including Scott Satterfield, CEO of WBD, and Rick Benton of WBD, as well as Jimmy Smith, director of economic and community development for Four County EMC.
Mojotone has 46 employees, and in addition to contract manufacturing work for more than 100 different companies and international clients, the firm also serves the needs of internationally known musicians and musical groups - ZZ Top, Rush, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban, to name a few.
In addition to amplifier parts and cabinets, Mojotone offers a line of guitar parts, pickup parts and guitar restoration supplies, including a premium line of handmade guitar and bass pickups.
"We’re hoping to expand our manufacturing," McWhorter said.