First Manufacturing Business Set to Break Ground in Burke Business Park
UNIX Dr., LLC to Build Distribution Center
BURKE COUNTY, N.C. (January 12, 2023) In May 2020, UNIX Packaging, LLC announced they were opening their third U.S. state of the art beverage manufacturing plant in Burke County. The new facility was planned to create over 150 new jobs by the end of 2022 with an investment more than $18.5 million. UNIX, who specializes in producing a variety of drinks which include: functional beverages, carbonated soft drinks, dietary supplements, purified and enhanced waters, alkaline waters, kombucha and teas, hand selected their new facility on Ceramic Tile Drive as their east coast home.
With expedited business growth and because UNIX prides themselves on quality control, consistency in productivity, and assuring their customers guaranteed line time, it became evident there was a need to expand their facility to cater to their customer’s distribution needs. The founding members of UNIX Packaging, LLC (UNIX Dr., LLC) made the decision to build a distribution center that will be housed by UNIX Packaging, LLC and selected Burke Business Park located off Kathy Road as the site for the expansion. The project titled, “It’s About Time” will be a 500,000 square-foot addition to the park. Once completed and in full operation, the project should create 100 new jobs. “We are very excited about the expansion of a distribution center for UNIX Packaging’s operations and the addition of new jobs in Burke County” said Bobby Melamed, CEO of UNIX Packaging, LLC and UNIX Dr., LLC.
The property at Burke Business Park was purchased in 2005 with the cooperation of five local partners: Burke County, City of Morganton, Town of Valdese, Town of Drexel and Town of Rutherford College, forming a coalition to create a business park to support economic growth in the county. Planning and development of the site started soon after this. The partners have remained committed to the development of the site and they along with assistance from other funders: Golden Leaf and NC Department of Commerce (through IDF funding and a reserve grant) have been responsible for getting the site fully prepared for construction to begin. Sherri Bradshaw, Burke Development, Inc., Board Chair and Drexel Town Manager had the following comments, “Congratulations to UNIX on its decision to locate in the Burke Business Park. The partners are excited to see the first business make their mark here and greatly appreciate what it will mean to future of the park and the community.”
UNIX Dr., LLC will utilize 31.8 acres of the 83-acre business park for construction of the distribution facility to be used by UNIX Packaging, LLC to support its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and its valued customers. This will leave four additional pads within the park for future projects. Scott Mulwee, Chair of the Burke County Board of Commissioners was pleased with the announcement saying “It has taken a while, but it has been worth the wait! This should open the door for continued growth on the site and for our community.”
Burke Business Park, which is in western Burke County off Exit 96 on I-40 has been recognized and promoted as a Smart-Site by ElectriCities, who will be the power provider for the site through the City of Morganton. Ronnie Thompson, Mayor of Morganton, stated, “Not only are the new jobs important but also solidifying existing jobs was key to this project. We are grateful for the hard work of all the partners in this project, striving to keep our county competitive. Their efforts have ensured the company’s continued growth and we are very excited to announce the project.”
Burke Development, Inc. would like to thank all partners for their efforts on this project including: N.C. Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly for their funding of economic development initiatives, the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority, Golden Leaf, ElectriCities, WPCC, Western Piedmont Council of Governments, West Consultants, Burke County, the City of Morganton, the Towns of Drexel, Rutherford College and Valdese, Senator Warren Daniel and Representative Hugh Blackwell and all the staff of these partners that have made this possible. Alan Wood stated, “Economic Development is a team effort and this announcement is proof of that. All the partners involved should be commended for their willingness to invest in the future of their community.”
Matthews Construction of Conover will develop the project. Andy Matthews, company Executive Vice-President, had the following to say as construction is about to begin, “The Matthews Construction team is honored to have been selected by UNIX Dr., LLC and is looking forward to collaborating with them and the folks of Burke County. We have been fortunate to have been a part of this great county’s industrial growth and are excited to add UNIX to this list.” It is anticipated that construction will take approximately sixteen months from the time grading begins.
About Development Burke, Inc.
Burke Development, Inc. (BDI) is a nonprofit organization supported by private and public funding that is charged with accelerating economic growth in Burke County. BDI works with industry leaders, site selection consultants, government agencies and other entities to facilitate expansion strategies for existing businesses and recruit target industries to Burke County. For more information about BDI visit www.BurkeDevInc.com.