Ashley Furniture plant construction delayed by at least a year

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ADVANCE, N.C. — The construction of Ashley Furniture’s new manufacturing and distribution center has reportedly been delayed by at least one year.

According to the Winston-Salem Journal, the delay is the result of the discovery of four acres of wetlands in Advance where the center is set to be constructed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regulates wetlands under the authority of the federal Clean Water Act, therefore the company must apply for a permit needed to build on the grounds.

Bill Coslo, an attorney for Ashley Furniture, tells the Journal that officials have applied for the necessary permit.  The additional fees will cost the company an additional $1 million.

“We expect the permit to be granted, but the final decision will be with the Corps of Engineers,” Coslo told the paper.

“This is a serious delay, and it is causing us to lose business opportunities and is adding substantially to the cost of doing business,” Coslo added.

Last April, state officials announced Ashley’s plans for the $80 million project, which is expected to create 550 jobs over a period of five years.  The plans include converting RJR’s former tobacco drying and storage facility into a 1.3 million-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility.

The company began accepting applications for the anticipated jobs about two months after the center was announced.

Terry Bralley, the president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, says he is “confident the project will go forward,” the Journal reports.

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