1. The news
On Tuesday, at the State of Our Community Luncheon in the Guilford Ballroom of Koury Convention Center, Gov. Roy Cooper took the stage to announce a new Publix Greensboro distribution hub, a total investment of $400 million on the part of the company that will result in 1,000 new jobs, according to press reports.
Publix likes the Triad for the same reason FedEx — and, incidentally, Elton Turnbull’s infamous cocaine empire back in the 1990s — does: Easy access to all points on the East Coast and the interior east of the Mississippi River via our proximity to interstates 85, 73 and 40. A reported eight-figure incentives package at local, county and state levels sweetens the deal. The Guilford County Commission package refunds up to to 80 percent of Publix’s property tax over 10 years, amounting to about $17 million.
3. The wrinkle
Publix grocery stores are dope, but you might not know that if you live in Greensboro. Of the 30 or so Publix in North Carolina, including ones in Winston-Salem and High Point, none are in the Gate City… yet. But a new Publix store is set to open at Grandover Village near the corner of Gate City Boulevard and Guilford College Road in the fall.
4. The plan
Almost every elected official in Guilford County, Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point, along with dozens of economic-development teams, the General Assembly and the governor’s office pitched in on this one, which was two years in the making. The land is owned by Roy Carroll. Even former Greensboro Mayor Robbie Perkins got a shout-out from the podium.
5. The company
Publix is a major player in the grocery game after humble beginnings in Florida in 1930. Acquisition and growth through the 1980s and ’90s led to an explosion of stores that began to spread throughout the Southeast. There are more than 1,200 of them now. And Publix is wholly owned by its employees, who each get presented with their first shares in the company after one year of service.