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Economic incentives will spur job growth for an existing, local business while attracting another company to use Buncombe County as its Southeast hub. On Feb. 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved economic incentives for Asheville-based Burial Beer Co. and Canadian-based Haakon Industries. The combined projects will yield an estimated 117 jobs that will pay amounts exceeding Just Economics’ living wage rate for Buncombe County of $13.60 per hour.
Haakon is a manufacturer of industrial grade HVAC equipment and will construct a 140,000-square-foot facility at the Enka Commerce Park. Representatives for the company say there will be a $17.9 million investment and create at least 100 jobs with an average wage of $19.20 per hour with Haakon footing 100 percent of its employees’ health coverage. The project is slated to create about $750,000 in property tax value for the County with an additional estimated labor impact of $7 million. In return, Buncombe County will provide $192,298 in economic incentives pending Haakon meeting investment and job creation benchmarks.
County Economic Development Director Timothy Love says the project is key to adding variety to the overall business portfolio. “Haakon will support the diversification of our industrial manufacturing sector while adding benefited jobs that significantly exceed our County living wage targets,” notes Love.
Meantime, homegrown Burial Beer Co. is expanding its footprint to add more brewing space. The unique project will renovate the 1900s-era Civilian Conservation Corps property on the southern edge of Biltmore Village. That renovation will bring a $1.8 million investment and create 17 jobs with an average wage of $16.34 per hour. Additionally, it will bring an estimated $64,000 to the County’s tax base.
Should Burial Beer Co. meet its projected investment and job creation numbers, Buncombe will provide $10,045 in economic incentives. “This is an excellent opportunity to support a small, locally-owned business in our growing craft beverage industry while also redeveloping the previously underutilized historic Civilian Conservation Corps facilities,” explains Love.
Both projects are also receiving support from Buncombe County’s partners including the Departments of Commerce and Transportation, A-B Tech, the Economic Development Coalition (EDC), and the City of Asheville. “With the leadership of the Commissioners, these projects further elevate the reputation of Buncombe County as a thriving manufacturing center in the Southeast,” notes Clark Duncan, EDC Executive Director. “Both Haakon Industries and Burial Beer have a bright future in Western North Carolina.”