NC awards Honeywell $42.5M in incentives for relocating its HQ to Charlotte

The state of North Carolina will give Honeywell an incentive package worth up to $42.5 million in return for switching its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte, bringing the total incentives offered the company to more than $80 million.

Honeywell — a Fortune 100 technology company whose products include airplane cockpit systems, oil refineries and security systems for hospitals — announced last week that it would bring 750 jobs to Charlotte by 2024 on the condition of receiving incentives from the state.

The state incentives were approved late Monday night in Raleigh by the N.C. Economic Investment Committee, just after Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law a bill that more than doubles the amount of incentives the state can offer companies. The bill allows the N.C. Department of Commerce to offer companies up to $16,000 per year in tax breaks for every job created. The current limit is $6,500 per job.

Mecklenburg County and the City of Charlotte are also chipping in a combined $40.2 million in incentives, according to the state.

The grant from the state includes $14.2 million for the state’s Utility Account, which helps rural counties fund infrastructure projects..

The state’s grant will be spread over 12 years and Honeywell must meet hiring and investment goals to receive the funds. Honeywell has agreed to a capital investment of $248.1 million in Mecklenburg County with $24.9 million of that for property construction and/or improvements and $223.3 million invested in personal property.

Honeywell also plans to establish a hangar at Charlotte Douglas International Airport to house four company airplanes, according to the agreement with the state.

The average annual wage for the jobs will be $348,200, but that’s because so many of positions will be higher level executives. Honeywell initially plans to transfer about 150 to 200 senior corporate employees from New Jersey to Charlotte by September 2019. The company will also move about 100 South Carolina-based jobs to Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer reported. (Honeywell bought Fort Mill-based Transnorm, a warehouse automation solutions company, in a roughly $484 million deal in November, and employs about 250 people in Fort Mill).

Honeywell — which was referred to by the state as Project Bee — then plans to hire 500 more employees in Charlotte over the next five years. State legislators have said the median wage for the jobs will be about $85,000.

The state competed with Houston, Atlanta, Tampa and Orlando for the corporate relocation, according to the Commerce Department.

“This was a very competitive process, because this was not a decision based on my preferences,” Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk told the Charlotte Observer last week. “This is a decision based on what’s the right decision for Honeywell for the next 10 or 20 years.”

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.