Photo: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer
Fayetteville will sell at least one city-owned lot in the Commerce District to longtime local screen printing company B-Unlimited.
City council members voted 7-0 on Tuesday to approve a resolution of intent to sell a 17.5-acre parcel off City Lake Road in what is sometimes called the city’s industrial park. B-Unlimited will have an option to purchase approximately 12.6 additional acres for $18,000 per acre within 12 months of the first property closing.
B-Unlimited needs space to grow, said Devin Howland, the city’s director of economic vitality.
The company was founded in 1994 and later acquired by Ben Clark. It has since gone from producing apparel for a college customer in Fayetteville to serving 250 college campuses across the country. In 2020, the company merged with JCG Apparel and expanded to six outlets throughout the Southeast Conference region. From 2016 to 2019, B-Unlimited was named to the “Inc. 5000” list of the fastest growing private companies in the United States, Howland said.
City of Fayetteville
The company currently employs over 250 people, including approximately 180 in Fayetteville. Howland said 30 of those local jobs are full-time artists, making B-Unlimited one of the largest private employers of full-time artists in the city.
Howland said his department had been working with Clark for several months to find a location where the company could build a new headquarters, currently located on South School Avenue.
The additional space will allow B-Unlimited to hire another 50 people over the next three years, bringing the company’s annual payroll to $9.5 million.
Taylor Shelton, director of economic development for the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, spoke in favor of the proposal on Tuesday. He said the chamber was particularly enthusiastic about any project that could boost the city’s creative economy.
Staff photo flyer
“We’re really looking forward to seeing this succeed,” Shelton said.
Council member Teresa Turk has requested an inventory of the trees on the property before any formal land sale contracts are returned to the council. Howland said he would ask the city’s urban forestry division to start immediately.
Howland also said the city plans to place a conservation easement on about 13 acres of adjoining municipal property to the east that has a large patch of older trees.
Council member Sloan Scroggin said he likes the idea and thinks the council should do what it can to help the long-standing local business grow, but would like to see the assessment of the property before the sale of the land is completed.
Since Tuesday’s action was only a resolution of intent, the board will still have to vote on the actual sale once a contract is formalized.