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Cambro celebrates new Mebane expansion with ceremonial groundbreaking

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Mebane mayor Ed Hooks, council member Montrena Hadley and other Mebane municipal officials gathered with executives from Cambro Manufacturing and representatives of the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce for a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday morning to kick off the latest industrial project in the city, a major expansion of a 9-year veteran company within the city.

Cambro Manufacturing, which has had a manufacturing facility in Mebane since 2015 (now occupying 476,857 square feet) will build a second, 379,672-square foot manufacturing facility that would nearly double the company’s footprint within the North Carolina Industrial Center in Mebane.

Completion of a second facility for Cambro would bring the company’s total square footage in Mebane to a total of 856,529 square feet, based on the plans that have been filed with the city by Greensboro-based Triad Design Group.

During brief remarks before the groundbreaking, Hooks praised the company for its community involvement since it opened in the city, and Scott Ermeti, vice president of global sales and marketing, lauded the city’s welcoming, pro-business climate. The Mebane facility is the Huntington Beach, California-based company’s only East Coast manufacturing plant.

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Mebane mayor Ed Hooks
Scott Ermeti, Cambro Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing
Mebane mayor Ed Hooks (second from right) and council member Montrena Hadley (far right) with Cambro executives: (left to right) Michael Ortiz, Director of Logistics; Scott Ermeti, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing; John Cook, Mebane production manager; and Alex Talamantes, Mebane plant manager.

The new facility will be built by Samet Corporation and is targeted to open in the fall of 2025, Cambro director of logistics Michael Ortiz had previously told The Alamance News.

The new plant will be equipped with 56 dock doors and two drive-in doors; Cambro expects to add up to 60 additional employees to the more than 100 who now work for the company at its Mebane location.  Alex Talamantes is the company’s plant manager.

Cambro’s proposed expansion does not require city council approval, as the property is already zoned for the proposed industrial uses, Mebane officials have confirmed for The Alamance News.

Cambro describes itself as a family-owned manufacturing company that produces more than 17,000 products used in the food and beverage industry.

The proposed new facility would be built on 25.4 acres along N.C. Highway 119, near the intersection with West Holt Street and across from the existing Cambro plant at 1268 Holt Street, based on the plans that have been filed with the city.

Cambro’s existing facility is located near a planned “transload facility” and a rail loop that Samet hopes to establish on four acres at the corner of West Holt Street and Lake Latham Road in Mebane to serve the NCIC.

“The current location is a combined facility of both manufacturing and logistics,” Ortiz recently outlined in a phone interview with the newspaper. “We are expanding on the manufacturing side, which means we need more room.  [Cambro CEO and president] Argyle Campbell owns that land, so that is the property we’re going to [expand on].  The new building is going to be used for 100 percent storage.”

Cambro’s parent company, A Campbell Holdings of Huntington Beach, California, purchased the 25.4-acre property, now targeted for the expansion, for approximately $1.3 million in January 2020, based on documents on file with Alamance County’s Register of Deeds.

The proposed 379,672-square foot second facility would be built on 14 acres within the overall site, based on based on preliminary plans that have been developed for the Cambro expansion.  The facility would be surrounded on three sides by a 40-foot buffer with opaque fencing ranging between four and eight feet high that would be built on top of retaining walls.

Shrubs and trees would be planted along the eastern side of the property to provide a vegetative buffer between the manufacturing facility and approximately half a dozen adjacent residential properties, the plans show.  Any existing vegetation also will remain in place, according to the plans that Triad Design Group has submitted to the city for the Cambro expansion.   The site plans shows that a 26-foot wide gravel access road for emergency vehicles also would be built along one edge of the property.

The existing facility is located near the rail line, but the new facility will not be, Ortiz told the newspaper.

The promise of a future rail spur beside Cambro’s plant was one of the things that lured the company to decide to build in Mebane 10 years ago.

Alamance County’s commissioners agreed last year to provide $300,843 for the transload facility that had been planned for nearly a decade but only became viable when the North Carolina General Assembly earmarked $2.6 million for a new transload facility in the biennial state budget passed in late 2021.

The latest estimated cost to build the transload facility was $3.2 million as of early 2023, prompting Alamance County chamber officials to seek addition funding from the city of Mebane and Alamance County government to cover the construction costs.

David Putnam, economic development director for the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce told the county commissioners in the spring of 2023 that the transload facility “would open up opportunities for manufacturers, farmers, everybody” to have direct rail access to ship and receive rail cargo.

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