Carolina Color expanding its footprint on 17th Street
By Mark Wineka
SALISBURY — Carolina Color Corp. has confirmed expansion plans that will eventually add about 45,000 square feet to its longstanding operation at 100 E. 17th St.
Matt Barr, chief executive officer for Carolina Color, said the company has purchased the former Wall Rope building behind its current facility and will be repurposing and expanding into that space, which is three buildings in one.
About half of that footprint will be taken down and replaced with new construction. The company ultimately will need to add some employees, but “right now we’re just focusing on getting the infrastructure together,” Barr said.
Carolina Color also bought a rundown home across the street, razed it and will be building a new customer collaborative center on that spot.
Carolina Color, which first opened in 1968 at the Carter Chair plant on North Long Street, manufactures color concentrates for the plastics industry — colors for injection, extrusion and blow molding.
It moved to its current location in the 1980s. The operation straddles the boundary line between Salisbury and Spencer, and Barr said staying in Rowan County, where the company’s roots are deep, was important.
Barr said the company’s legacy in Rowan County, plus the county’s location and its being a great place to live, work and raise a family, weighed heavily in the decision to expand here and not go elsewhere.
“We’re committed to the community, obviously,” Barr said.
Carolina Color employs about 65 people here. It has another facility in Delaware, Ohio, but Salisbury is considered the headquarters.
In Salisbury, the plant operates a 10-hour shift, five days a week.
Barr said the company did not receive economic development incentives for this expansion, but he praised the cooperation the company has received over the years from local governments in Salisbury and Spencer and the county’s economic development arm, RowanWorks.
Barr told Plastics Today, a trade publication, the two new spaces will be critical in continuing the company’s industry-leading new product development. Its colors have diverse applications in outdoor durable goods, packaging, and industrial and non-automotive transportation.
The Plastics Today story said Carolina Color has invested $10 million over the past five years in research and development, plant upgrades and new equipment.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.
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