New Hanover County, Wilmington City Council to consider $500K in incentives for AAIPharma

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New Hanover County Commissioner Chairman  Jonathan Barfield Jr.  Photo Courtesy of New Hanover County
New Hanover County Commissioners Chairman Jonathan Barfield Jr. Photo courtesy New Hanover County.

New Hanover County commissioners and Wilmington City Council members are considering awarding $500,000 in economic incentive grants to a pharmaceutical company.

Johnathan Barfield Jr., chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, said county’s $275,000 share, which will be dispersed over a five year period of time, will be on the agenda for a public hearing at county commissioners’ July 20 meeting.

The AAIPharma facility, 1726 N. 23rd St., specializes in manufacturing oral solid dose forms to support Phase I to Phase III clinical production prescription drugs. According to Barfield, the company will have to pledge a $20 million investment in local expansion, along with creating at least 50 new jobs with salaries around $70,000.

“The county wins far more than any rebate will ever give,” Barfield said. “We want to spur economic development and whether that’s homegrown industries here or working with businesses to come into the area, the bottom line is decreasing unemployment and increasing jobs with higher incomes.”

Wilmington City Council will consider awarding AAIPharma $225,000 in incentive grants at its July 21 meeting, according to city spokesman Dylan Lee.

“A yes vote would authorize paying AAIPharma up to $45,000 annually for up to five years in exchange for an investment of $20 million in real and personal property and the creation of an additional 50 jobs in the community,” Lee said.

Councilman Kevin O’Grady on Thursday said Council hasn’t yet considered the incentive.

“We haven’t had any formal proposals yet, but if you show us the right numbers and if it makes sense then I would definitely consider it,” O’Grady said.

Over the past year, Wilmington City Council and New Hanover County commissioners have been working on a joint policy agreement that would have the two entities work closer together on economic matters similar to AAIPharma, Barfield said.

While Barfield was unfamiliar with the city’s share, he said he would be “in favor of an economic incentive that would mirror the county’s and willing to work together with city leaders to achieve that goal.”