Change is coming to the Garner Economic Development Corporation.
Bruce Andrews and Elmo Vance have stepped down as board members of the nonprofit. Both have been board members since the GEDC's inception over eight years ago. Andrews served as board chair.
The GEDC was formed and took control of the Garner Technology Center site after ConAgra donated the property to the Town. The organization oversaw marketing of the site and its ultimate redevelopment as an Amazon fulfillment center. The 2.6-million-square-foot Amazon facility is expected to open in 2020 and will create at least 1,500 new jobs. The company's total investment in the center will be approximately $200 million. Those jobs and investment figures are well above the targets the GEDC had set for a redevelopment project on the site.
"I am grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to serve the Town and the GEDC," Andrews said upon stepping down on June 28. "The Amazon project greatly exceeded our expectations of what would wind up at that site. It will bring tremendous benefits to the community. I am proud to have worked with board members, our advisory group and the Town's outstanding staff to land the Amazon project for Garner."
Vance, who is now a member of the Garner Town Council, said: "It has been a tremendous experience to work with wise, patient and knowledgeable individuals on the GEDC board and with the Town of Garner staff. Board members Bruce Andrews and Council Member Ken Marshburn provided examples of professional integrity and a singleness of focus on the goal of replacing jobs and a substantial tax base loss due to departure of a significant business entity within the town limits of Garner."
"Town of Garner staff members worked incredibly hard and provided the technical and legal expertise needed to navigate through the planning and legal processes to close the competitive deal with Amazon," Vance added. "As I leave the board, I can say I will never forget the collaborative effort in which both groups worked together to bring a significant business to the Town of Garner, and I will hold close the professional and personal relationships developed along the way."
"It was an honor to have the chance to work with Mr. Andrews and Mr. Vance and to be able to be a part of the team that successfully redeveloped the Garner Technology Center site," Stallings said. "Both gentlemen volunteered a great deal of their time and expertise so that the Amazon project could come to fruition. They deserve a huge amount of credit for what we achieved."
Council Member Marshburn, who also has been a GEDC board member since the nonprofit's creation, will serve as the new board chair. As the GEDC transitions to a new era, it is expanding its board to five members. The other members of the newly constituted board are Doris Huebner, Griffin Laughridge, Jeff Swain and Ronnie Thompson.
For more information about economic development in Garner, please contact Joe Stallings at (919) 773-4431 or at email@example.com.
Bruce Andrews (left) with Council Member and new GEDC Chair Ken Marshburn.
Council Member Elmo Vance with Council Member Marshburn during Mr. Vance's recognition at the July 1 Town Council meeting.