Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Mebane city council OKs fourth round of incentives for Belgian cookie maker

Company officials with Lotus Bakeries – makers of the famous Biscoff cookies served on many airlines – went before Mebane’s city council this week, seeking their fourth traunch of incentive payments from the city for an additional expansion of its manufacturing plant, the only one the company operates in the U.S.

And while a local Lotus official portrayed the company’s position to Mebane’s city council as awaiting a future decision by the corporate board in Belgium at the company’s home office, possibly as early as next week, a news release put out by Gov. Roy Cooper a few hours before the hearing announced that the company had, in fact, decided to expand in Mebane.

The newest expansion proposes to add about 171,000 square feet onto the company’s existing facility (of 237,193 square feet), at a cost of about $84 million, and adding 62 more jobs with average salaries of $47,873.

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[Story continues below graphic of newest proposed expansion.]

The blue-highlighted area shows the areas planned for the newest expansion, as provided to the city council this week.

It would bring the company’s total U.S. investment (all in Mebane) to about $217 million.
The newest Mebane incentives would subsidize the company’s expansion to the tune of about $423,850 over five years, plus the city would waive about $100,000 in permitting fees.

It was also noted that while the city had already approved three previous incentives packages, the assessed value of the plant (on which the incentives are predicated) had run below the originally-announced levels. that has resulted in the city paying out somewhat less than originally planned.

In fact, city manager Chris Rollins pointed out that generally Alamance County’s tax assessor is valuing industrial building construction projects in the city at around 70 percent of what companies had anticipated they would be.

The decision to add the newest round of incentives was adopted unanimously, 5-0.

It was also noted that the company does not intend to ask the county for additional incentives. Last year, the county’s commissioners turned down Lotus’ third request for incentives when the board deadlocked 2-2 on that round of incentives.

New Lotus company product lines that are to have Mebane production for U.S. distribution, according to description given by company representatives in 2021:

Sandwich cookies
Bear Fruit Rolls
Biscoff Ice Cream

See 2021 stories on county commissioners and Mebane council’s deliberations on Round Three incentives request:

County commissioners deadlock 2-2 on incentives: https://alamancenews.com/breaking-mon-night-county-commissioners-deadlock-over-newest-incentives-for-lotus-bakeries/

Mebane council approves incentives county didn’t: https://alamancenews.com/mebane-gives-cookie-maker-incentives-it-sought-for-expansion/

Search “Lotus” for additional stories.

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