Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put significant strain on the American health care industry as it has attempted to treat and manage the virus, Medline has been moving ahead with supplying hospitals and medical facilities with much-needed equipment.
Medline has also been moving ahead rapidly on its 1.2 million square foot Distribution Center in Mebane, which will assist the company greatly in providing its suppliers across the state and throughout the Southeast with necessary materials.
“We’re excited about the Distribution Center that we’re building. It's a 1.2 million square foot Distribution Center that is going to handle tens of thousands of critically important medical devices, including PPE that we so badly need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jesse Greenberg, Medline Public Affairs Director said in a recent interview.
Last fall, the Mebane City Council and Orange County approved a series of economic incentives to lure Medline, a company based in Northfield, Illinois, to the area.
“The construction of this facility really couldn’t come at a better time,” Greenberg explained. “We’re now at the phase of completing a lot of the pre-construction activities and putting down the foundation. Probably at the end of this year and the beginning of next year, we’re going to be putting up the walls around our facility, and continuing to complete the building construction.”
Despite the challenges COVID has put on Medline to try and keep up with the tremendous supply demands on the part of its clients, the company says it is moving full steam ahead with the Mebane project, with no significant delays over the past several months.
“We’ve been working full steam ahead to try to move as quickly as possible. We know how important our customers and the health care industry is relying on expanded capacity,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg indicated that the Mebane facility should be operational approximately this time a year from now.
“We’re moving forward on construction now. I would say between Q3 and Q4 next year, we should be completed with construction,” he said. “Nothing is actually going to be manufactured there. We have a lot of manufacturing around the United States, but this particular center is really going to be used for storage and distribution, and logistics, you could say. Hospitals, health care systems work with us to bring in all or most of their medical device needs. We deliver to them in the quantities and the right order that they want it.”
“We work with our health care providers on “just in time” delivery schedules,” Greenberg continued. “We’ve got trucks and delivery vehicles coming in multiple times a day to supply hospitals around the state of North Carolina with whatever it is that they need. We handle altogether around 550,000 different medical products, so the range of things that we handle is quite extensive.”
Greenberg spoke about some of the many reasons why Mebane was the best option for Medline as it considered locations for this expansive facility.
“You’ve got tremendous transportation infrastructure, first of all. Second of all, you’re talking proximity to our existing customer base that we can better serve. You’re talking about proximity to a large and talented labor pool,” he explained. “You’ve got a supportive community here. You’ve got officials at the City level, and at Orange County, who are very, very interested in this kind of economic development and job creation, a debt-free business that’s to be there for generation. When all those things line up, it’s a great formula for an expansion project.
“The economic development project has been a cooperative effort between the City of Mebane and Orange County,” read a statement from the City of Mebane prior to approval of the project last fall. “This economic development project is expected to generate more than $2,600,000 in property taxes over the next ten years from current and proposed tax valuations. The city will also receive sales tax from construction along with the indirect benefits of creating 250 new jobs with an estimated annual payroll of over $8.8 million.”
The City of Mebane’s proposed incentives package for Medline Industries includes a one-time cash grant of $653,000, along with waived local impact, permitting, and inspection fees, which will save the company approximately $150,000 throughout construction. In turn, Medline Industries is guaranteeing the $65,300,000 capital investment and the 180 jobs within three years, with clawback provisions available to the City if the company does not perform as agreed.
Mebane will make a total of five payments over a five-year period to Medline Industries in the amount of $130,600 once the company’s facility in the area is up and running late next year.