2nd Ceres tract picked for Nissan feeder plant

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 18, 2001

[9/18/01]A 20-acre tract on Interstate 20 will be sold to a company that will make parts for the Nissan plant under construction in Madison County.

The action brings to two the number of firms locating in Warren County to serve the $1 billion truck and van factory due to open in 2002.

In action taken in separate meetings Monday, the Warren County Board of Supervisors and the Warren County Port Commission approved selling the land at Ceres Research and Industrial Interplex near Flowers. The buyer was not identified. The officials also granted the company the right of first refusal on an adjacent 20-acre tract.

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Earlier this summer, a 52-acre tract at Ceres was sold to Calsonic Kansei North America Inc., which will supply exhaust systems, radiators and condensers for Nissan.

Calsonic will break ground Oct. 4.

Jimmy Heidel, executive director of the port commission, said the company, which will make suspensions, plans to spend about $3.5 million for its building and install about $13 million worth of equipment. It will start with 120 employees and have a payroll of about $5 million, he said.

When the Nissan plant was announced, developers explained that several smaller suppliers would locate in “feeder” locations. They will make parts for the final assembly operation near Canton which, at peak, will make 250,000 vehicles per year.

Separately, supervisors and Vicksburg officials approved an application for federal Renewal Community designation that, if granted, could mean federal tax credits of $1,500 per employee per year for the two Nissan suppliers locating at Ceres and other areas in the county.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Heidel said. “And we’re not just talking about the industry that employs 100 people; we’re talking about the mom and pop shop in Kings.”

City Planner Ronnie Bounds said if the area is approved for the program, it would start in January 2002 and last until December 2009.

There are to be 40 Renewal Community designations nationwide and 12 of them would be for rural communities.