Johnston County, N.C. – May 28, 2019
Broad River Retail LLC will establish a major distribution facility, customer contact center and showroom in the Town of Four Oaks as part of a $16 million investment the company, the nation’s largest independently-owned Ashley HomeStore licensee, is making in partnership with the Charlotte-based Keith Corporation. N.C. Commerce Secretary Tony Copeland joined local leaders and company officials in announcing the initiative, which will bring 161 new jobs to Johnston County.
“Leadership is the ability to see into the future,” Copeland said. “It takes courage in today’s political world to make the investments in infrastructure and workforce that Johnston County has made.” Decisions made by leaders decades ago helped paved the way for today’s announcement,” Copeland told the audience of about 120. “Broad River Retail’s new campus represents a major expansion for the company and a major vote of confidence for your community,” Copeland said.
Johnston County Commissioners met prior to the announcement with the Four Oaks Town Council to unanimously approve performance-based financial incentives from local governments. “Today’s announcement is about much more than a single company bringing a new facility to Four Oaks,” said Ted Godwin, chairman of the County’s Board of Commissioners. “Broad River Retail comes to Johnston County along with two major national brands – Ashley Furniture and The Keith Corporation – as part of a vision that re-energizes our I-95 corridor and brings further diversification to the county’s economy.” The project’s $16 million investment will add approximately $125,000 annually to the Johnston County budget, Godwin also pointed out.
The initiative – known by the codename “Project Heidi” as local leaders and company representatives worked toward making plans public – will also generate about $70,000 per year in new tax revenue for the Town of Four Oaks. “This significant project has transformative potential for Four Oaks, not just in terms of new jobs and tax-base but also the likelihood that other businesses will follow in establishing operations here that will support and complement this new facility,” said Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker. “The fact that it’s the second major investment by The Keith Corporation in seven years tells me that the future of Four Oaks’ economy looks bright.”
The Keith Corporation is a prominent name in commercial real estate, engaging in development, investment services, property management, tenant representation and brokerage for properties across the U.S. and abroad. In 2012, the company built a 720,000-sq.-ft. distribution facility for medical-device maker Becton, Dickinson and Co. The $38 million facility is housed at the Four Oaks Business Park, just a few miles south of Broad River Retail’s planned operation. “The Keith Corporation is excited to break ground on our second industrial building in Four Oaks, NC,” said Justin Curis, industrial development associate at The Keith Corporation. “This project would not be possible without the invaluable help of the Johnston County Office of Economic Development and the Town of Four Oaks. We look forward to further cooperation and development in the years to come.”
Headquartered in Fort Mill, SC, privately-held Broad River Retail operates 18 Ashley HomeStores in Georgia and the Carolinas. Its workforce numbers more than 500. The company plans to hire I/T, management, warehouse personnel, inbound call-center specialists, administrative and other staff at its Johnston County operations. The firm was founded in 2003 and was recently ranked #53 on Furniture Today’s Top 100 U.S. Furniture Stores. Wisconsin-based Ashley Furniture is the world’s largest residential furniture company. In 2012, Ashley launched manufacturing operations in Davie County, NC that currently employ over 1,000 workers.
In selecting Four Oaks for the new facility, officials from Keith Corp and Broad River Retail worked with leaders from Johnston County and the Town of Four Oaks, as well as the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the North Carolina Community College System, the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina and other entities.
“Bringing impactful projects to Johnston County always takes a team effort, but today’s announcement by Broad River Retail required a long list of allies and partners – both public and private – working together efficiently,” said Chris Johnson, director of the Johnston County Office of Economic Development. “We’re grateful to the organizations and leaders that have been critical to attracting another major name in American business to Johnston County.”
The Johnston County Economic Development Office (JCEDO) facilitates value-added interaction between government, education and the private sector in encouraging and promoting job creation and economic investment in Johnston County. A unit of county government, JCEDO collaborates with local, regional and statewide partners and allies in providing confidential location assistance to businesses and technical support to the county’s 11 municipalities. Its menu of services includes customized digital mapping, labor and wage analysis, site readiness assistance and incentive packaging. For additional information, visitwww.jcnced.com