Gaston County Celebrates Bright Future with Apple Creek Corporate Center Grand Opening

Published Wednesday, May 11, 2022


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May 10th, 2022

On Tuesday, elected officials and local dignitaries came together with leaders of international corporations in the heart of Gaston County to celebrate the grand opening of the Apple Creek Corporate Center. Less than two years after local leaders plunged shovels into the dirt on this site, Apple Creek has secured GNT USA, Knoll America and Premix as tenants for the park. Two more announcements are expected in the weeks ahead.

“Some people don’t believe in fate, but after seeing how Apple Creek was born, thanks to some early conversations we had with the leadership at GNT, I certainly do,” said Gaston County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chad Brown (R-Riverbend Township). “What they envisioned, and what we ultimately got them here at Apple Creek was like a match made in heaven.  Our board was serious when we talked about bringing not just jobs to Gaston County, but that we were going to bring the future here.”

GNT USA CEO Stefan Hake said the connection with Gaston County’s Economic Development Commission and County leadership was critical to making the decision to become the first company to invest in Apple Creek.  “Three years ago when starting our site search, we were welcomed by Donny Hicks and the Gaston County EDC. When looking for a new manufacturing site, criteria such as infrastructure, road access, labor market, and surrounding community must be carefully analyzed. When you look at a site and all you see are grass and trees, it can sometimes be difficult to envision how it could look in 2-3 years time. This vision requires trust in a partner who can not only see your vision, but also help deliver all your needs.  We found this trust with the Gaston County EDC together with the  leadership of Donny Hicks. Their dedication, solution-oriented thinking, rapid replies, understanding of our needs, and professionalism is a gold standard for any partnership.  Additionally, we were pleased to find easy access to highway 85 as well as efficient access to the ports in Charleston, both important logical features in our business,” Hake said.

“Overall we couldn’t be more pleased on how our vision came into reality. With the initial phase of our project completed, we are very proud of the team we have assembled, including our 30 new hires. With construction completed on-time and in-budget and first quarter accuracy rates of 99.6%, we are looking ahead at continuing growth. Looking around at how much the Apple Creek Corporate Center has grown since we first looked at grass and trees, we are confident that others looking to join us in this corporate park will easily envision their facility here too.”

Following GNT’s announcement, German-based Knoll announced it would headquarter its North American operations in Apple Creek. That was followed by an announcement late last week by Premix Group, a Finnish plastics manufacturer, which will invest $47 million in its first North American operation in Apple Creek.

“KNOLL America Inc. selected the {Apple Creek} location in Gastonia because its logistical convenience. The proximity to from the Charlotte International Airport and interstates I-85 and I-77 allows us to reach about eighty percent of our customers in less than a day as well as maintain our international business activities. Gaston County also has an optimal work force for the manufacturing industry due to the closeness to the Gaston Community College and the existing work force built up over decades by the textile industry. The EDC and their team have been super understanding towards our needs and we truly appreciate their hospitality and business friendly attitude. The area offers a great quality of live as well as conveniently located to the bigger events in the city. Over all, it feels like a great place to be” said Lothar Burger, CEO of KNOLL.

During the grand opening even Tuesday morning, Premix’s US CEO and President Jari-Matti Mehto stated “The location decision was made after careful analysis.  North Carolina and Gaston County was chosen for being a growing area for advanced manufacturing, logistics networks, and developed infrastructure, as well as availability of skilled workers.”

The Apple Creek Corporate Center (ACCC) is a 327-acre, mass-graded, industrial park developed by Gaston County, located less than 2 miles from U.S. 321 and within 4.5 miles of Interstate 85. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is 20 miles from the park. Five parcels remain available for purchase in the park. Target companies for the park are high-quality, single-tenant manufacturing operations. 


The ACCC is a park with restrictive covenants which provides for construction of tilt-wall or concrete panel type buildings. Developed and owned by Gaston County, the ACCC has environmental and geotechnical reports available upon request. The City of Gastonia provides the water service for sites within the ACCC from a 16-inch line. Sewer service is provided by a 30-inch outfall is also provided by the City of Gastonia. The natural gas system is provided by Dominion Energy.  Rutherford Electric offers the potential for dual feed electric service to the ACCC.

“Working with Gaston County and their strong commitment to industrial development has been a pleasure.  Helping to bring new industry to Gaston County benefits our membership and the county as a whole,” said Randy Ward, District Vice President for Operations for Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation.

Gaston County would like to thank Rutherford Electric Membership Corporation, Dominion Energy, City of Gastonia (Two Rivers Utilities), AT&T,  Neill Grading and Construction, Benesch, ECS Southeast, NCDOT Residents of Apple Creek, Nolan Mills, and David Hoyle Jr. for the contributions each has played in the development of the Apple Creek Corporate Center.





Mr. Donny Hicks, Executive Director

Gaston County Economic Development Commission