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Dole Food considering moving East Coast fresh fruit sales division to Kannapolis

David Murdock, founder of the North Carolina Research Campus and owner of Dole Food Co. Inc., smiles as he talks with the media in 2014 after announcing an endowment that will donate $15 million a year to the research facility. Dole is adding corporate functions, including some C-suite employees, in uptown Charlotte.
David Murdock, founder of the North Carolina Research Campus and owner of Dole Food Co. Inc., smiles as he talks with the media in 2014 after announcing an endowment that will donate $15 million a year to the research facility. Dole is adding corporate functions, including some C-suite employees, in uptown Charlotte. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Kannapolis City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday on whether to award Dole Food Co. Inc. a $100,000 grant to move its East Coast fresh fruit sales division to the city.

California-based Dole is the world’s largest producer and distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The company is considering moving 19 fresh fruit division jobs to 6,800 square feet in the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory, City Manager Mike Legg said in a memo to the council and Mayor Darrell Hinnant. The four-story Core Laboratory is the centerpiece of the North Carolina Research Campus.

Murdock is chairman, CEO and owner of Dole Food Co. Inc. and the vision behind the campus.

Dole Food would spend $882,000 to build and furnish the offices, Legg said. The jobs are in administration, sales, marketing, nutrition and food safety and pay $50,000 to at least $100,000, he said. Most of the workers who hold the jobs plan to move here, but a few local hires would be made, Legg said.

The hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Kannapolis City Hall, 401 Laureate Way. Legg said the project fits with the city’s industrial development grant policy. He recommends the grant be approved.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak

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