County pledges $1M in incentives to pain-meds maker

Sep. 09, 2013 @ 09:09 PM

County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to pledge $1 million in business incentives to a Connecticut pharmaceutical company that’s considering building a new plant in Treyburn.

Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce officials said they hope the offer to Purdue Pharma boosts Durham ahead of two communities in North Carolina and one in Virginia that are also in the running for the new, 120,000-square-foot facility.

“This is an incredibly competitive project,” chamber President Casey Steinbacher told the commissioners. “We hope you can help us to win it.”

The commissioners quickly agreed.

“These are exactly the kind of jobs we want in Durham,” Commissioner Wendy Jacobs told company executives who attended Monday’s meeting. “These are good jobs, jobs that can support a family.”

Headquartered in Stamford, Conn., Purdue Pharma is in the business of creating and manufacturing pain medications. It has a research lab and a plant in New Jersey, and a plant in Wilson, N.C.

County administrators said the prospective Treyburn facility would require a $59 million investment by Purdue and create 100 jobs. The jobs figure doesn’t count construction jobs and outside contractors for things like security.

Steinbacher and chamber Vice President Ted Conner said the project adds to the success local officials have had in attracting manufacturing jobs to the area.

A similar $1 million offer by the county in 2007 helped convince Merck & Co. to build a vaccine plant in Treyburn.

“Durham’s manufacturing is growing, and it is dynamic,” Conner said, ticking off an array of projects that included the recent city/county incentive offer to jet engine maker GE Aviation. “But the sector that’s growing fastest is the biopharmaceutical sector.”