HAMLET — A crew from Barnhill Contracting spent Labor Day laying down a new parking lot for RSI Home Products.
Construction has moved at a swift pace since the announcement earlier this year that the California-based cabinet manufacturer would be moving to Richmond County.
The new facility is located beside Big Rock Sports in the Richmond County Industrial Park and is scheduled to open on Sept. 30, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Hoeft told a small crowd of dignitaries at a groundbreaking ceremony in March.
In late June, only three of the building’s concrete walls had been erected.
At the same time that construction was going on, work was being done on the access road parallel to the U.S. 74 bypass.
“They said they were on a fast track and they certainly meant it,” County Manager Rick Sago told the Daily Journal on Monday. “I have never (seen) a project come together this quickly. I am glad we have the resources and the support of the (Richmond County) Board of Commissioners. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to meet RSI’s timeline.”
County commissioners approved a 42.75-acre land transfer in the Richmond County Industrial Park to a holding company affiliated with the Charlotte-based Keith Corp. for the construction at their March meeting.
Sago gave commissioners an abbreviated recap of events that night, saying RSI had been looking at other locations across North Carolina and South Carolina.
Representatives from the California-based company had also originally been looking for an existing building, he said, but decided they wanted a spot in the industrial park three weeks before the announcement was made.
“When they made a decision, they didn’t mess around,” he said. “They certainly hit the ground running.”
Sago told the Daily Journal this summer that the county is responsible for building the access road and installing water, sewer and natural gas lines to the facility. AT&T will be providing telecommunications, power will be supplied by Pee Dee Electric and the gas will come from Piedmont Natural Gas.
Other companies and agencies involved include: Choate Construction, Anson Contractors, LKC Engineering, MA Engineering, Distribution Construction (responsible for the natural gas pipeline), and the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The company is expected to bring 175 jobs to Richmond County with an average wage of $31,187 per year.
RSI currently has a 1 million square-foot facility in Lincoln County which employees nearly 1,000 people. It also has operations in California and Texas.
Another California-based company, Direct Pack, recently announced that it was moving into a facility on Airport Road, making it the third new business — along with RSI and North Carolina Industrial Sand — to decide to locate in Richmond County this year.
Direct Pack specializes in thermoformed packaging for agriculture, food service, supermarket chains and food processors and its products “span from functional berry containers to innovative salad bowls, all kinds of bakery and deli containers and image-building entrée take-out solutions,” according to the company’s website.
Two existing companies in Richmond County also made expansion announcements this year: Plastek announced in January that it would invest $2.5 million and hire 23 new employees to expand its facility on County Home Road; and the following month, Perdue Foods declared its intent to invest $10.9 million and hire 30 new workers over the next three years at its chicken processing plant in Rockingham.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_toler.