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Wilson was the benefactor of a major economic development announcement on Thursday for the second time in as many days.
HandCraft Healthcare Linen & Uniform Specialists recently spent $2.82 million to purchase a 97,000 square-foot shell building and committed to spending between $15 million and $16 million on upfitting the space. The Virginia-based company has three other facilities to process linens and apparel from more than 50 hospitals and 800 medical practices across seven states.
“We were looking in southwest Raleigh, but couldn’t find an existing building or even land that was suitable both for our needs and finances,” said HandCraft President Keith Nichols. “The shell building in Wilson was already built and we already had work in Wilson servicing the hospital.”
In August, HandCraft opened the company’s third plant in High Point, but Nichols said the search for another processing plant was underway back in May. The company constructed the High Point plant, but the shell building made for an easier expansion.
“What made this particular building attractive is that the floor is not poured,” he said. “That allows us to custom pour because we have a lot of trenches and drains that we use in our process. If it was already poured, we would have to jack it up and repour.”
Wilson County Properties Inc., a private nonprofit development corporation, completed construction of the shell building in 2017. Wilson Economic Development Executive Director Jennifer Lantz had the building designed following feedback about what corporations considering the area looked for in a property, noting about 78% of her clients specifically wanted an existing building.
Since construction was complete, economic development staff has showed numerous prospective companies the building. Lantz said two of those companies have announced development in Wilson despite choosing different sites.
HandCraft plans to open the plant by mid-October, hiring between 125 and 150 employees within two weeks of the opening. Nichols said the company will employ everyone from mechanics to managers and wages will vary, but hourly workers will make between $15 and $18 an hour. Visit http://handcraftservices.com/ to learn more.