Although Gildan did not accept a $1.6 million from Carroll County to purchase two buildings the company owns in the Carroll County Industrial Park, the possibility still remains Gildan could lease the buildings to the county.
Carroll County Board of Supervisors’ Chairman Sam Dickson gave a brief update of the situation during the board’s April meeting. Dickson said he wanted to give an update because of some inaccurate information circling throughout the county about the situation.
“It was mentioned that we made a 30-minute decision to make an offer on this building. That is far from the truth,” Dickson said. “We have been dealing with this building for seven years and I want to clear up the air on our offer and what actually happened.”
Dickson said part of the responsibility of the board of supervisors is to make sure to advance the cause of creating jobs in the community. The board has devoted a lot of time and work into those efforts, and soon the county will see the result, he said.
“And we have had more than one company approach us with opportunities that we could not move forward with because we did not have control of the Gildan property,” Dickson said. “At the same time Gildan would not provide Carroll County with a lease rate, and therefore only out of necessity has the Carroll County IDA even contemplated the purchase of the buildings.”
Dickson said the process started in December of 2010, and there has been ongoing negotiations since then. The first offer made by the Carroll County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) was well below the second offer of $1.6 million, he said.
“During that time and our negotiations, the school system called the director of Gildan three times because they were looking to possibly purchase the building. That is when they were thinking about moving the automotive shop,” Dickson said. “They ran the price up on the IDA by $200,000. This was done because Gildan thought the school system had their own funding source and the price prior to that had been $1.4 million, so they ran it up. They didn’t do that intentionally, but they needed the building and Gildan is not located in our area. After losing another opportunity for 150 jobs in the fall of 2011 because Gildan did not respond in a timely manner, the IDA did make the offer for the two buildings. And I must say that during this process, there was no descending comments until after the offer of $1.6 million was made.”
Dickson said neither Carroll County nor the IDA wanted to be in the real estate business. It was only out of necessity because Gildan would not provide a lease price for the facilities, Dickson added.
“The Gildan counter was very high, however, they did provide a Lease rate for the first time,” Dickson said. “This will allow the IDA and Carroll to work with potential prospects without purchasing the property at this time.”
Dickson also wanted to ‘clear the air’ associated with another shell building within 1,500 feet of the Gildan property. From information that has been circling through the county, he said it would appear that Carroll owns the shell building.
“This is completely false. Carroll County sold the referred to ‘shell building’ more than a decade ago and does not own any industrial buildings,” Dickson said. “The building that was referred to is currently leased by the North Carolina owner.”