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Pate Dawson breaks ground on Statesville facility expansion

Credit: Jim McNally/Statesville Record & Landmark
Pate Dawson officials get a hand breaking ground on a construction project Monday that will expand a building in the Statesville Business Park. From left: Statesville City Councilman Cecil Stallard, Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh, CMC Associates President Mark Moore (CMC is the firm hired to design and build the expansion), Pate Dawson Chairman and CEO Mac Sullivan, Pate Dawson President Dave Stansfield, Pate Dawson CFO Mike Ziebell, Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chairman Steve Johnson and Statesville Regional Development Executive Director Mike Smith.
By: Jim McNally | Statesville Record & Landmark 
August 20, 2012
The long-awaited groundbreaking on a 40,000-square-foot expansion of an empty building that was built four years ago took place Monday afternoon at the Statesville Business Park.
When completed and operational next year, Goldsboro-based Pate Dawson Company will open a food-distribution facility there that will eventually employ 49 workers.
Top elected officials joined area business leaders and Pate Dawson executives and all donned hardhats and plunged shovels into some dirt for the ritual event. And while the shovels and dirt they moved may have been for ceremony, the project represented by them is significant.
“There is nothing better for a county and community than to bring in a company like this,” said Iredell County Board of Commissioners Chairman Steve Johnson who added later in his comments, “We look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.”
Statesville Mayor Costi Kutteh said that he and other city leaders “have enjoyed the journey with Pate Dawson.”
Kutteh said it was an especially good occasion “when we attract a company of great character” such as Pate Dawson.
Kutteh told company leaders that the city “has been looking forward to this day for a long time.”
Indeed, the 63,000-square-foot shell building that currently sits on the lot has stood vacant a lot longer than anyone expected when ground was broken on it in the summer of 2008.
“Construction started on it in July or August,” said John Marek, Statesville Regional Development (SRD) director of business retention/expansion and marketing. “And a few months later the world ended.”
Marek was referring to the economic downturn that the nation has been trying to recover from since that time.
Mike Smith, SRD’s executive director, said Monday’s event and what it means “is really what our organization is all about.”
Pate Dawson Chairman and CEO Mac Sullivan said his company’s decision to locate in Statesville was the result of a search involving locations within a 50-mile radius of Charlotte in an effort to open an operation in the western part of North Carolina.
“And this was just the best location,” he said. “And every time I come and look at this site I feel great about it and it reminds me that we made the right decision.”
Sullivan said his company is 126 years old and is now in the fifth generation of family ownership.
Real work on the construction of the expansion will begin soon and the company plans to have the facility operating within a year.