Business

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry in uptown considering at least two sites for new location

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, which melts scrap metal into pipe, occupies about 55 acres a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium on South Clarkson Street.
Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, which melts scrap metal into pipe, occupies about 55 acres a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium on South Clarkson Street. kperalta@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is evaluating options for the future site of its foundry plant. The longtime manufacturer has not made any decisions about whether to move out of uptown Charlotte, despite rumors that it has.

The company is considering a few locations, including ones in York and Stanly counties, for a new manufacturing site, spokesman Brad Muller told the Observer on Monday. The company, which melts scrap metal into pipe, occupies about 55 acres a few blocks from Bank of America Stadium on South Clarkson Street. It employs over 500 full-time people there, Muller said.

An announcement about a relocation is not imminent, Muller said. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry’s headquarters on Randolph Road will remain in Charlotte regardless of the company’s decision on a new plant, he added.

“There are still a lot of decisions to be made and things to button up before we can decide ‘go’ or ‘no go,’” Muller said. “This is a big project, and we have to make sure we have all our ducks in a row.”

“Even if we make a decision to build a new plant, it’d take years.”

Last week, an incentives bill that drew hardly any debate passed through the N.C. House and was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Roy Cooper. Senate Bill 505 would allow the business to qualify for the state’s Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund. The bill would only apply to a company that has invested or will invest at least $325 million in the state.

Lawmakers avoided naming the company outright, although it is customized for a “heritage manufacturing employer,” or one that’s been operating in the state for least 100 years. Charlotte Pipe & Foundry, established in 1901, fits the bill.

The legislation is also for a company that plans to relocate at least 400 of those employees to a Tier Two county with a population smaller than 63,000. The nearest Tier Two county to Mecklenburg County and meeting the population requirement is Stanly County, which had a population of 61,500 in 2017.

“We’ve been studying this and looked at a similar type project 10 years ago,” Muller said of a possible move to Stanly County.

In 2008 the Golden LEAF Foundation approved a $2.5 million grant to help Stanly County land Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, according to a February 2009 Observer story. A year later, Stanly County officials approved the rezoning of about 40 acres owned by the company for industrial use. Muller said Monday that the company still owns the land.


Correction

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the type of facility Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is considering moving from uptown. The company is considering moving its foundry plant.


Colin Campbell, editor of the Insider State Government News Service, contributed to this report.

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As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

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