A British manufacturing company has established a foothold in Fuquay-Varina and is considering the town for its new North American headquarters.
A-Safe, which makes and installs safety barriers, recently leased about 10,000 square feet of office and manufacturing space in town. The site will serve a dozen employees from the company’s administrative, corporate, warehousing and assembly divisions.
Fuquay-Varina leaders said the town is also on the short list for the headquarters relocation, although it’s unclear when that decision might occur and what other cities are competing for the investment and jobs.
If the town is selected to be the headquarters, A-Safe would build a manufacturing and distribution facility in Fuquay-Varina that would be between 120,000 and 150,000 square feet, according to the town.
The town expects the project would add $19 million to the local tax base and create 130 full-time jobs.
The company could build the headquarters within 18 to 24 months, said Jim Seymour, economic developer for Fuquay-Varina.
Seymour said he was optimistic A-Safe would pick Fuquay-Varina, because it already chose the town for one phase of its North American expansion.
Mayor John Byrne also said he was excited about the initial expansion, as well as the potential to draw in the headquarters complex.
“Our community continues to be a top choice for manufacturing firms looking to expand into the Triangle Region,” Byrne said in a statement. “A-Safe, Inc. is a first rate quality employer that will add greatly to the quality of life for Fuquay-Varina’s residents and businesses.”
Seymour said cities are competing hard to be chosen for the headquarters site.
“I know that from day one this has been a very competitive process between Virginia, South Carolina and maybe even Tennessee,” he said.
Paul Katsirubas, president and managing director of A-Safe, said Fuquay-Varina was chosen for the expansion based on several factors.
“Global companies like A-Safe recognize that Wake County and the Fuquay-Varina business community is a great place for businesses to thrive because of the quality of the local workforce, access to an innovative and growing customer market place and proven quality infrastructure,” Katsirubas said in a statement.
Seymour said he believes location was also a factor.
“Not only being in Wake County, but really southern Wake County, we are strategically placed whether you want to take a flight out of RDU, go up to Washington, (D.C.), or down to Georgia,” he said.
Companies are sometimes offered economic incentives from the local and state government.
However, Seymour said, neither the town nor the state offered any incentives for A-Safe’s initial expansion, and they have not offered any to try to land the headquarters.
The reason, he said, is simple: A-Safe never asked, and the town was confident competing on its own merits.
In addition to making safety barriers for airports, A-Safe’s clients also include such companies as BMW, Airbus, and DHL.