Bluestar Silicones will invest $20 million to create 125 manufacturing jobs in Charlotte at 12345 Steele Creek Road, where it will consolidate two U.S. manufacturing facilities, the Lyon, France-based company announced this morning at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce.
The average salary will be upwards of $62,000, North Carolina Secretary of State Keith Crisco said during the 10:30 a.m. announcement.
Under the plan, Bluestar will relocate its manufacturing and research and development operations in Ventura, Calif., and Rock Hill, S.C., by acquiring the 147,000-square-foot former Virkler Chemical building in southwest Charlotte. Bluestar has not finalized the purchase of the property.
Bluestar Silicones International President and CEO Pascal Chalvon-Demersay, who attended the press conference, said the investment is part of his company’s five-year growth plan. The company needs a strong U.S. manufacturing footprint that offers room for expansion, he said.
“And we found that here in Charlotte,” he said, adding that the Charlotte operation will allow the company to also be more efficient in its manufacturing operations.
The silicon in the company’s products can be found in everything from airbags and medical devices to shampoo and self-adhesive stamps, he said.
Bluestar Silicones International was established in 2007 through China National BlueStar Corp.’s acquisition of Rhodia Silicones. The company has sales of $900 million, Chalvon-Demersay said.
The Charlotte Chamber said it worked closely with Bluestar for two years as the company analyzed places to relocate to.
“We are very excited by the highly talent pool of employees offered by Charlotte … and its surrounding communities,” Chalvon-Demersay said. ”We count on you to help make our ambitiion a reality.”
City Councilwoman Jennifer Roberts lauded the company for choosing Charlotte.
“That’s 125 more people who can feed their families … heat their homes and pay their taxes — always important,” she said. “We are truly in your debt.”
In Bluestar’s ongoing purchase of the former Virkler Chemical site, Chris Skibinski and John Cashion of Jones Lang LaSalle are serving as real estate advisors to Bluestar. The building’s owner is represented by Jim Whiteside of Whiteside Industrial Properties.
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