Governor Cooper announced the project on Tuesday.
ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – Chick-fil-A announced Tuesday that it would build a major distribution facility at the former site of the ballpark where the Kannapolis Intimidators played baseball.
Josh Grote, executive director of Chick-fil-A Supply spoke exclusively to WBTV, saying “Chick-fil-A Supply provides our local restaurant owner/operators with the same high level of service they provide their guests. Joining the Kannapolis community allows us to create jobs that offer competitive compensation and benefits, comprehensive training and professional development opportunities.”
The Rowan County Economic Development Council, Rowan County, and the City of Kannapolis have been working on the project, codenamed “Project Swarm,” for several months.
Officials with the office of North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper confirmed that the project will be built in the Lakeshore Corporate Park just off Interstate 85. It is expected to bring approximately 115 jobs to the area.
“Chick-fil-A’s expansion is good for Kannapolis along with Rowan and surrounding counties,” Cooper said. “We appreciate their vote of confidence in North Carolina and the strength of our workforce and infrastructure.”
“The City of Kannapolis is excited to welcome Chick-fil-A Supply and their staff. With over 100 jobs, salaries above the county average and their substantial investment the company will be a significant employer in our City and Rowan County. They have selected a beautiful premier location, overlooking I-85 and Lake Fisher. It reflects the strong corporate presence for which they are known and is expected to make an immediate positive impact in our City,” Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant said. “We are very pleased that they have selected Kannapolis as their new distribution center locale and thus are helping us continue the revitalization momentum and healthy economic job growth we are experiencing.”
“The transformation of the Intimidators baseball field into a hub of economic vitality demonstrates Rowan County’s growth and adaptability. We commend Fortius Capital Partners for their visionary investment in the community, with the three spec buildings poised to spur significant economic activity,” Rowan EDC President Rod Crider said. “Known as Project Swarm, with this project we’re not only capitalizing on the strategic advantage Interstate 85 offers for distribution and logistics but companies also breathing new life into a location rich in local history.”
In 2021, Fortius Capital Partners purchased the former Kannapolis Intimidators Stadium for $3 million. The 55-acre site is located on Lane Street near the I-85 Exit 63 interchange. The property is next to Lake Fisher, which is a protected reservoir.
“We appreciate the partnership with the City of Kannapolis, Rowan County, and the state who have worked together with us to transform this property into a Class A corporate park. This park is designed to attract great companies, like Chick-fil-A Supply. We are so pleased Chick-fil-A Supply selected Lakeshore as their preferred base to support their expanding operations in this region,” Dave Davis with Fortius Capital Partners said.
Known for its original chicken sandwich and signature hospitality, Chick-fil-A has grown to be one of the nation’s highest-volume quick-service restaurants since opening in 1967. Chick-fil-A Supply ensures restaurants have the food and products they need through a seamless delivery experience that extends the Chick-fil-A culture of care.
The new 120,000-square-foot distribution center will serve around 100 restaurants in the Charlotte region. The company plans to open the facility in the third quarter of 2024. Chick-fil-A Supply currently operates four distribution centers, including a 180,000-square-foot distribution center in Mebane.
“Chick-fil-A Supply is committed to investing in local communities like Kannapolis to create jobs and grow our supply chain operation,” Josh Grote, executive director of Chick-fil-A Supply, said. “We look forward to growing our Chick-fil-A Supply family in North Carolina and know they will complete deliveries with care to serve our franchise operators, licensees and team members.”
New positions being created by the company include drivers, managers, office staff, and warehouse personnel. Although wages will vary by position, the average annual wage is estimated to be $58,574, which exceeds the Rowan County average of $50,138. These new jobs have the potential to create an annual payroll impact of more than $4.8 million for the region.
“North Carolina has the fourth largest food and beverage industry in the United States and is within a day’s drive of 150 million customers,” N.C. Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders said. “When well-known companies like Chick-fil-A reinvest in North Carolina, it affirms our reputation as the best state to do business.”
A performance-based grant of $200,000 from the One North Carolina Fund will help with Chick-fil-A Supply’s location to North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment.
Chick-fil-A Supply must create 82 jobs to receive One NC grant payments. All One NC grants require matching participation from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.
Rowan County Commission Chairman Greg Edds expressed his enthusiasm about the substantial economic benefits of Chick-fil-A Supply’s new center.
“Chick-fil-A, a beloved American company and a name that resonates with so many, choosing to establish their distribution center here is a testament to Rowan County’s growing appeal to major employers,” he said. “The introduction of 112 jobs not only signifies robust economic growth but also promises stability and progress for our residents. It’s an honor and a thrill to welcome such a significant investment from a brand everyone knows and loves to our county.”
“We’re delighted to welcome Chick-fil-A to Rowan County,” N.C. Senator Paul Newton said. “These new jobs and investments will be great additions to our community and it’s part of our mission to help them grow.”
“This is fantastic news for the City of Kannapolis and the state,” N.C. Representative Kevin Crutchfield said. “We appreciate the collaboration of local and state partners that recruited such an outstanding company to the region.”
In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in this project include the North Carolina General Assembly, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, North Carolina Community College System, Rowan County, Rowan County Economic Development Council, City of Kannapolis, and Duke Energy.