Forsyth County commissioners have accepted an offer to purchase approximately 30 acres of county-owned property at 4897 Lansing Drive for a consolidated distribution headquarters for Garner Foods.
Commissioners unanimously voted on Nov. 12 to accept the offer from Front Street Capital for $1,551,059 for the property, which is already zoned General Industrial. The commissioners welcomed the project as an economic development opportunity for the area.
"This facility will allow Garner to continue to grow their operations and workforce into the future as they remain a key headquarters for Forsyth County," said the developer.
The property is currently used by Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for school bus parking and as a base of operations for school maintenance staff. The first phase of construction for the new Garner facility is expected to be completed in early 2022. When that happens, the county will leaseback approximately 25 percent of the property for two years for the WS/FCS maintenance complex at a maximum of $7,000 a year to give the county ample time to move the complex.
WS/FCS is working to remove all the buses and equipment not in that leaseback area. Once the sale is finalized early next year, the school system will have 60 days to complete that process
Underground fuel storage tanks on the site will be removed as part of required remediation on the property. The county is working with the WS/FCS to find another place to fuel the system’s school buses.
The property is part of the airport's layout plan, but it is not used for aeronautical purposes and is not part of the airport's long-term development plans. It can support a large, flat facility without interfering with airport operations. In compliance with federal laws and regulations on airport property sales, all sale proceeds will go to the airport.
The sale is subject to FAA and NCDOT approval, which is expected to happen in the next 30-60 days. The sale would have a 60-day due diligence period, which can be shortened by the buyer with county approval. The county has right of first refusal if the property is made available for sale in the future or the property goes dark or vacant for more than a year and the existing lease is nullified.