Monthly Business Spotlight: KARASTAN

Karastan’s front office in Eden, NC.

Karastan’s story as an innovator dates back to the 1920s when its “wonder rug” first amazed visitors at two World’s Fairs.  What was so impressive about the Karastan rug manufactured in Eden then, as it still is today, was that it brought the first high quality, machine-made Oriental rug to consumers at reasonable prices.

In 2018, Karastan celebrated 90 years in business in Eden.  Both the Eden City Council and the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners recognized the company for this major milestone.

The Karastan mill that sparked the brand’s history and great reputation opened in Eden in 1928.  Today, Karastan remains a vital industry to Eden and Rockingham County with around 300 full-time employees.  Now a division of Mohawk Industries, Karastan has continued as an innovator, implementing new technology to refine its manufacturing process but the result remains the same:  elegant, machine-made rugs that rival their handmade counterparts.

A Karastan employee inspects a rug during the manufacturing process.

In 2015, Mohawk announced it would expand the Karastan plant in Eden, creating more than 100 new jobs and investing $8 million in improvements in the plant.  This expansion represents a revitalization of one of Eden’s and Rockingham County’s legacy companies.

Part of the 2015 expansion was the addition of aircraft carpet manufacturing.  Karastan is now the largest manufacturer of aircraft carpet in the United States.

“It is wonderful to celebrate Karastan for being in our community and doing business here for 90 years.  This company has meant a lot to Eden and Rockingham County over the years.  There are so many local families that have had several generations work for Karastan.  We are truly glad to have Karastan here and look forward to their success for many more years,” said Kevin Berger, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

Darin Quesinberry, plant manager at Karastan, inspects lines of yarn that are used to create ornate patterns of the company’s famous oriental rugs.

“Karastan is Eden’s oldest company and a very adaptable one,” stated Neville Hall, mayor of Eden. “Over the years, they have produced not just their traditional carpets and rugs, but now aircraft and environmentally-friendly carpeting.  Their dedicated employees are to be commended for producing such high-quality products.”

We commend and thank Karastan and Mohawk Industries for being a great corporate citizen over the years.  We also salute the hundreds of employees that have enabled the company to thrive in Eden and Rockingham County.

Be sure to see the Karastan display located in the lobby of the Governmental Center from the end of January to the end of March.

Karastan Industry Spotlight display located in the Rockingham County Governmental Center lobby from Jan-March 2019.

SANS Technical Fibers Plans Expansion in Stoneville in 2019

The Rockingham County Center for Economic Development, Small Business & Tourism presented a performance agreement for public hearing to the Board of Commissioners at its meeting on January 22nd for an expansion at  SANS Technical Fibers, LLC in Stoneville.

Nylon and textured yarn manufacturer SANS Technical Fibers is planning an expansion that consists of a $4.9 million investment in new machinery and equipment as well as building improvements at its facility located at 4721 NC 770 in Stoneville.  The company also plans to create 25 new jobs by the end of 2019.

Commissioners approved the post-performance agreement between Rockingham County and SANS Technical Fibers.  In the agreement, Rockingham County will provide a total post-performance incentive to SANS of $73,626 to be paid out in annual installments over five years.  The company must first meet the investment and job requirements to receive payments.

“Rockingham County is excited to start off 2019 with some new economic development projects.  SANS Technical Fibers has been a great corporate citizen in our community and has invested several times in the Stoneville plant.  We are happy to see the company’s continued success here,” said Reece Pyrtle, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.

The Stoneville Town Council is also considering a performance agreement with SANS Technical Fibers for the expansion.

Incentives are “performance based” meaning the company must first meet investment and job targets before receiving any payments.  If the investment and job targets are not met each year, the amount of the scheduled incentive payments will be reduced proportionately.

Speedline Corporation Relocates to Rockingham County

Ohio-based plastics manufacturer Speedline Corporation is relocating an existing operation from Guilford County to the former TMD WEK South building in Reidsville. The company will receive a $125,000 building reuse grant from the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Building Reuse Grant Program.

The grant requires a five percent local match from the community and Rockingham County Commissioners agreed to provide half of the required match amount for a total of $3,125 at its January 22nd meeting. The City of Reidsville will provide the additional $3,125 for a total of $6,250 from the community to fulfill the local match requirement.

In exchange for the community support, Speedline has agreed to create 10 new full-time jobs at the new Reidsville location by the end of 2020.

“We welcome Speedline Corporation to Rockingham County.  It was a win-win for the company and our community that we had a vacant building to meet their needs.  We are thrilled to see another plastics company move into that facility and provide good jobs,” said Reece Pyrtle, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.


County Manager Issues Statement on MillerCoors Sale

“While we were just as surprised as the public to learn that D.H. Griffin purchased the MillerCoors facility in Eden, we are optimistic about the company’s intentions for this prime industrial property.  D.H. Griffin is a successful Piedmont Triad company with a proven track record for site development and redevelopment.  The company has been a good corporate citizen in the region over the years and is an active member of our private economic development board, Rockingham County Citizens for Economic Development (CED),”  said Lance Metzler, Rockingham County Manager.

“Rockingham County is eager to learn about D.H. Griffin’s plans.  We look forward to working with the company to maximize the value of the property and any potential job creation in Eden and Rockingham County,” adds Metzler.

Greensboro-based D.H. Griffin buys MillerCoors facility in Eden

From RockinghamNow
By Joe Dexter, staff writer

EDEN — MillerCoors has sold its 1,365-acre facility in Eden to 770 Ventures LLC, a corporation that shares the same address as D.H. Griffin – a Greensboro based demolition and site development specialist, according to property records filed with the Rockingham County Register of Deeds office.

According to a North Carolina Specialty Warranty Deed filed listing excise tax and county revenue stamps, the transfer of property comes at a total of $2.75 million.

MillerCoors purchased the property from Miller Brewing Company in July 2008 for $53,598,000, according to Rockingham County GIS records.

In September 2015, the company announced the year-long process to close its Eden facility after 37 years.
News of the closure came as a shock to local officials, with more than 500 employees losing their jobs during the transition.

MillerCoors officials cited the need to optimize their brewery footprint and streamline operations for its breweries as a main source for the closure.

They also stated that a drop in demand for its products as a factor in the decision to shut down Rockingham County’s third-largest private employer.

According to the Associated Press, the closure came in the middle of contract extension negotiations with Pabst, who has contracted with MillerCoors since 1999 to make and ship nearly all of their beers.

In November, MillerCoors and Pabst Brewing Company settled a lawsuit presented by the maker of Pabst Blue Ribbon that claimed Miller, which holds a bigger percentage of the market, misconstrued its incapability to brew Pabst products in an attempt to put one of their top competitors out of business.

ccording to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Pabst CEO told the jury during trial that Pabst attempted to buy the facility following the announcement by MillerCoors to close the facility.

MillerCoors countered Pabst’s offer with a $750 million price tag, several reports indicate.
Officials across the county confirmed Thursday that MillerCoors has received other offers for the property over the years, all of which were at a higher clip than the sale price agreed to before the start of 2019.

D.H. Griffin is a family of companies that provide contract demolition, environmental and other construction services to the public and private business sectors, according to the company’s website.

According to county officials, property taxes on the former Eden industrial site have been fully paid for 2018.