Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Multinational equipment manufacturer plants Wilmington roots

SANY America is leasing Business Development Park for a regional warehouse and distribution center. (Courtesy of Wilmington Business Development)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — SANY America, a subsidiary of the world’s third largest heavy equipment manufacturer, has signed a lease at Wilmington Business Park to create a regional warehouse and distribution center. 

SANY America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Changsha, China-based SANY Heavy Industry Co. It works on production, sales, R&D, and servicing of heavy industrial equipment. According to the Wall Street Journal, the publicly traded, multinational company employs 26,374 workers and made over $80 billion in sales in 2022.

Its Wilmington home will be at 202 Raleigh St., located less than a mile from the North Carolina Ports on River Road. SANY will bring in 50 jobs and an undisclosed investment; Port City Daily will update with the figure upon response from the company.

SANY America vice president of corporate affairs and risk management Dean Waters told Port City Daily the jobs will range in pay from $50,000 to $150,000, but did not yet know the average salary. 

Wilmington Business Development CEO Scott Satterfield told Port City Daily it has already made “a number of critical connections” between SANY America and other local partners.

“We are well known by the company we keep at Wilmington Business Development,” he said. WBD fosters economic growth and job creation in southeastern North Carolina with companies worldwide. 

“With that we often look to plug and play our partners into projects where they can be a local resource,” Satterfield added.

WBD plans to connect the firm to local workers to help it fill its labor force. He said SANY America will be participating in a manufacturing expo slated for Nov. 15 at Cape Fear Community College. 

“It will hopefully expose them to talent as they establish an important operation in the region,” he said.

Satterfield added SANY’s arrival “continues momentum” in the region for warehouse, logistics and distribution. Three other major shipping and distribution companies have announced moving to the region in the past year, including Atlanta-based shipping container firm RL Cold, German kitchen storage company Kesseböhmer, and California-based importer and distributor Francini Inc.

“We expect this operation to have a very positive impact on North Carolina Ports, as well as, generally, the entire business community,” Sattefield said. 

It won’t only affect local workers but increase commerce due to the presence of a major global company located near the port.

SANY America is leasing the entirety of the 532,427-square-foot property at 202 Raleigh St. The long-term lease includes 20 cranes, internal and direct rail service, and industrial-quality power. Satterfield said the site will contain approximately 16 acres of developable land after the company reaches full occupancy in January.

Headquartered in a 272-acre facility in Peachtree, Georgia, SANY officials cited the property’s proximity to the port, multi-modal industrial access and high-grade utility services, and the business-friendly nature of county and municipal governments, as leading factors to choose Wilmington.

California-based real estate and investment firm Industrial Realty Group is leasing the property to SANY America. It took SANY a year to negotiate its agreement. Waters said the lease is for seven years with options to renew it twice for seven-year periods. He could not disclose the amount SANY spent on the lease.

IRG bought  202 Raleigh St. from Terex Crane for $6 million in December 2014. The site was formerly occupied by jointly owned Chinese-American railroad manufacturer Vertex Railcar Corp., before the company shut down in 2014.

Vertex’s Wilmington facility was anticipated to create 1,300 jobs in a Nov. 2014 announcement by Wilmington Business Development and state and local officials, including former Gov. Pat McCrory and Mayor Bill Saffo. Projections failed to materialize after a series of legal disputes and a drop in rail car demand.

The company’s CEO, Donald Croteau, filed for bankruptcy in 2021; his filing included debts related to the company.

Vertex took over the property from Connecticut-based firm Terex Cranes in 2014 after itshut down its Wilmington facilities in 2011.

“IRG has continued to maintain the property throughout ownership,” Steger told Port City Daily. “This included making necessary upgrades to the original heavy industrial assets since IRG purchased the site in 2014.”

The property has undergone improvements including new rail infrastructure and a blast, paint, and cure booth since 2015.

Satterfield anticipates the facility will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2024.

Tips or comments? Email journalist Peter Castagno at peter@localdailymedia.com.

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