People in Concord excited for potentially hundreds of new jobs with Carvana

Updated: Aug. 19, 2019 at 6:38 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Monday night, Cabarrus County Commissioners approved a grant for the future of the old Philip Morris manufacturing site in Concord.

Online used car retailer Carvana could be the next company to build a facility on the property, according to county and city officials.

“It’s just sat so unused for so long, it’s been a long time coming,” Brandon Crim said.

It makes up 3.5 million square feet and almost 500 acres in Concord, but hasn’t had much of a purpose since 2017.

In 1983, it opened as the Philip Morris cigarette plant.

By 2009, it shut down, then it was used for filming scenes for the first Hunger Games movie and the Showtime series Homeland.

“I remember my buddy got a job when it was a battery company or something,” Crim said.

In 2014, Swiss battery company Alevo Group took over, promising hundreds of jobs.

But by 2017, it filed bankruptcy.

“Seen it go through some changes, it’s been mostly vacant since I’ve been here," Ryan Kunkle said.

Now there’s a chance for new life.

The city of Concord approved a three-year grant to CARVANA LLC.

On Monday night, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners approved an economic development agreement (three years, 85 percent) between Carvana, LLC, and Cabarrus County.

The board of commissioners said Carvana is considering purchasing about 90 acres at the former Phillip Morris campus and investing an estimated $35 million in real and personal property, making it eligible for a grant from the city for $428,400.

This only includes about 4 percent of the total Philip Morris land so the county’s hope is that several companies will occupy that space and bring more jobs.

The number one thing on people’s minds is employment.

A proposal for the board of commissioners lists it as 304 jobs over three years with average salaries of $40,560.

Officials say the operation would include vehicle inspection, certification and reconditioning. The company’s location decision is contingent on approval and award of State incentives.

“It’d be great for Concord we need it long time coming man,” Crim said.

We also reached out to Carvana for a comment, but did not hear back.

Copyright 2019 WBTV. All rights reserved.