MONCURE — The anticipated September groundbreaking for VinFast’s manufacturing facility in Moncure appears on track after the new Vietnamese electric vehicle producer completed the acquisition of the land for its new production plant last Tuesday.
According to the land deed, VinFast purchased 1,765 acres at Triangle Innovation Point Site, located on Moncure Flatwood Road. VinFast Manufacturing LLC purchased the land for just under $44 million from the seller, Triangle Innovation Point (TIP) East Development Partners.
The land purchase also included an excise tax payment of $87,955. Excise taxes are paid on all real estate transactions at a rate of $1 per every $500 sold, according to North Carolina law. This means the total purchase price for the TIP East site was $43,977,500.
Kirk Bradley, chairman of Lee-Moore Capital Company and one of the partners on TIP East, told the News + Record the manufacturer is now moving forward with its site development and working on permits to begin construction.
Bradley is also a partner in Chatham Media Group LLC, the owner of the N + R.
Triangle Innovation Point was formerly known as the Moncure Megasite. It consists of 2,158.5 acres in total at a prime location: just off U.S. 1 north of Sanford, six minutes from Sanford’s Raleigh Executive Jetport, 30 minutes from Raleigh-Durham International Airport and a few minutes from the I-540 loop in Wake County and two rail lines and access to utilities, the News + Record previously reported.
It is also possible VinFast will seek additional land outside of the TIP site for its project.
The land deed shows VinFast will occupy TIP East; the TIP site also includes 420 additional acres that make up TIP West, which are being developed separately. Bradley said FedEx and other users are expected to occupy the site, although it has not yet been sold.
VinFast has contacted Barnhill Contracting Company, a Rocky Mount-based contractor, to begin work on the site, Bradley said. Barnhill is the largest contractor in the Research Triangle region.
The purchase of the land is a step in the right direction toward VinFast’s ambitious construction timeline. Company officials previously told the News + Record the company was seeking to break ground in Chatham County by mid-September and get cars to consumers from the facility by July 2024.
The first step in the development process will be constructing the roadways in collaboration with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. NCDOT officials told the News + Record that major improvements to the roads at the VinFast facility will be completed in two phases.
The first phase includes widening and resurfacing existing routes around the site including Christian Chapel Church Road, Pea Ridge Road, and Old U.S. 1.
“The resurfacing and widening will enable the roads to handle more truck traffic,” said Jamie Kritzer, assistant director of communications for NCDOT. “Work will begin on this component in the next few weeks and is anticipated to be complete by summer of next year.”
The first phase of construction also includes widening New Elam Road from two lanes to a four-lane divided road from the VinFast site to U.S. 1. Kritzer said that development will start in early 2023 and finish in spring 2024. The final part of the road widening, which includes building access roads to U.S. 1, are expected to be completed by winter of 2025.
Phase two of the road construction by NCDOT, which includes improvements the new access road from the VinFast site to U.S. 1 on Pea Ridge Road, does not have a definitive timeline at this time. Kritzer said that is because construction is tied to the creation of 3,875 jobs by Vinfast.
For more information about NCDOT progress on the road construction visit public to access information regarding the project: www.publicinput.com/Chatham-TIP-Road-Improvements.
The $44 million is just a portion of the $4 billion the electric vehicle company has promised to invest in North Carolina. The VinFast facility is the largest economic development project in state history is also slated to bring 7,500 jobs at the site.
If its plan is executed, VinFast would become the largest employer in Chatham County by far — larger than the current top 10 employers in the county combined, according to Access North Carolina.
The company is expected to produce two EVs, the five-seater VF-8 and seven-seater VF-9, along with electric buses at the Chatham County facility. VinFast has said the plant will manufacture and deliver 150,000 vehicles annually with the capacity to ramp up to more than 200,000 vehicles.
VinFast has announced it is hiring management positions for its North Carolina offices, and Chatham County Economic Development Director Michael Smith told the News + Record that several VinFast executives are searching for homes in N.C. this month.
Reporter Ben Rappaport can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @b_rappaport.
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