6/18/2020 8:56:00 PM Industrial park near Summerfield, Stokesdale lands 403 jobs
by CHRIS BURRITT
NW GUILFORD - A Belgian company plans to spend $96 million to build a 403-employee manufacturing facility in southern Rockingham County, creating opportunities for job seekers and home builders in northwest Guilford County.
"It's going to be valuable to us," Summerfield Mayor BJ Barnes said in an interview earlier this month, following an announcement by Ontex Group NV that it will build its first U.S. factory as the initial tenant in a 300-acre industrial park owned by Greensboro developer Roy Carroll.
Ontex, based in Erembodegem, Belgium, makes diapers and other disposable hygiene products in facilities in 16 countries.
"Not only is it going to create more than 400 jobs, but it is also going to be close enough to us to contribute significantly to our real estate market," Stokesdale Mayor John Flynt said.
The Stokesdale Fire Department provides service to that section of Rockingham County, so investments in the industrial park are going to generate additional tax receipts for the fire department, Flynt said.
The park is located near the V-shaped juncture of N.C. 68 and Interstate 73 (U.S. 220), about two miles northeast of Stokesdale and less than five miles from Summerfield. The opening of I-73 put the park a roughly 10-minute drive from Piedmont Triad International Airport through northwestern Guilford County, proving attractive to companies reliant on air delivery as well as ground transportation around the airport.
Industrial development just north of Summerfield is going to create demand for housing in Summerfield, boosting property tax receipts, Barnes told the Summerfield Town Council last month. As the park adds new industrial and distribution tenants, Northwest Guilford is poised to attract executives and managers who want to live within an easy commute to work, Barnes said in an interview after the meeting.
"The project is going to employ an awful lot of people, including white-collar managers who are going to want to live close to Greensboro but not in Greensboro," he said. "When they look at where they want to live, Summerfield is going to be top on their list."
Hiring of workers may create demand for subdivisions along Highways 68 and 65 between the Stokesdale town limits and the industrial park, Flynt said.