Two new projects could bring 1,700 jobs, $1.7 billion in investment

When Giti Tire announced that it was bringing 1,700 jobs and more than half-a-billion dollars in investment last summer, it seemed as though Chester County was feasting on one of the biggest economic development projects in state history. As it turns out, that may have just been an appetizer.
Chester County Council has already passed third and final reading on another big project and is working towards final passage on another that could rival Giti in terms of jobs created and perhaps surpass it in terms of total investment.
Already a done deal is “Project: Wrap.” County council has already approved a resolution on “certain incentives…to establish manufacturing and related facilities in Chester County…including negotiated fee-in-lieu of ad valorem tax arrangements, special source credits, multi-county industrial or business park arrangements and other related matters” and an ordinance authorizing “the execution and delivery of a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement…whereby Chester County will enter into a fee-in-lieu of tax arrangement with Project: Wrap and providing for payment by Project: Wrap of certain fees-in-lieu of ad valorem taxes; providing for special source revenue credits or infrastructure improvement credits; providing for the allocation of fees-in-lieu of taxes payable under the agreement for the establishment of a multi-county industrial/business park; and other matters relating thereto.”
At last week’s third reading, it was revealed that the company behind the “Wrap” codename was Carolina Poly Inc. There weren’t any representatives of the company present at the meeting and Chester County Economic Development Director Karlisa Parker said she wanted pertinent info on the company to come from the company, though she did indicate a press release would be forthcoming. However, the full text of the ordinance does give indications of how big the project will be. Carolina Poly Inc., per the ordinance, will develop a manufacturing facility in the county by “acquiring, constructing, equipping and furnishing machinery, equipment and other real and personal property, which the company has represented will consist of a capital investment of approximately $100 million” and will create approximately 300 new, full-time employees.
County Council gave first reading approval to a resolution and ordinance related to “Project: 1429.” The vote was unanimous aside from one recusal, which came from Councilman Alex Oliphant. He said there was a potential conflict of interests for him with the project, so he not only did not cast a vote, he left the council’s chambers during a discussion of 1429 in executive session. That project had actually come up on a couple of occasions this summer, but no votes related to it were taken until last week. County Supervisor Shane Stuart, in July,  made note of “a lot of smiling faces” after a closed door discussion of 1429. The language of the ordinance related to the project makes it pretty clear why.
“Whereas a company, identified for the time being as Project 1429, acting for itself, one or more current or future affiliates and other project sponsors proposes to invest in, or cause others to invest in, the creation of a cellulosic renewable diesel facility and related facilities in the County (“Project”), which the Company expects will result in the aggregate creation of approximately 1,400 new, full-time equivalent jobs and investment of approximately $1,600,000,000.00 in real and personal property.”
Stuart said he could not comment on any particulars related to 1429 until final passage of all necessary resolutions and ordinances.
With Giti, Carolina Poly Inc., 1429, Footprint and other projects announced recently, Chester County will have attained promises of total investments of nearly $2.5 billion since last year.

By Travis Jenkins, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter