StarNews: State moves ahead on cold storage facility at port

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Submitted: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 3:04am
Updated: Wed, 02/06/2013 - 4:44am

By: Adam Wagner

A new cold storage facility at the Port of Wilmington could help North Carolina catch up to its surrounding states while creating about 110 jobs.

The N.C. Council of State voted Tuesday to approve a ground lease allowing USA InvestCo to build a 75,000-square-foot cold storage facility to store fruit, vegetables and meat. The facility could ultimately be expanded to 300,000 square feet, in 75,000-square-foot increments.

“Considering we’re the second-biggest pork producer and second-biggest producer of poultry in aggregate … we’d really like to keep that business in North Carolina,” said Chuck Schoninger, managing member of USA InvestCo.

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8 Comments on "StarNews: State moves ahead on cold storage facility at port"

2015 years 8 months ago

you hit the nail on the head. This was one of two local projects on the Schoninger website, the other being the downtown hotel, alluded to on his USINVESTO website.X

2015 years 8 months ago

could get this project off the ground is for foreign investors who want a special visa to agree to invest $500,000 or more. Anyone want to guess how many of the purported 110 jobs will go to locals?

2015 years 8 months ago

it is also contingent on the State approving a variety of incentives.

It appears he has 26 investors in waiting each of whom will pony up $500,000 and get their priority green cards.

Under the land lease, no rent payments for the first 4 years.

And he has to promote the number of jobs loud and vocally to qualify for all of the foriegn investments.

He refers to the need for facilities.

Take a drive to Tar Heel in Bladen County. Big Smithfield processing plant for pork. Across the service road, and equally large freezer packing plant. And they ship in refrigerated trucks.

Hate to say it. But seems Mr. Schoninger is trying to pull some more wool over some unsuspecting eyes.

2015 years 8 months ago
2015 years 8 months ago

I was at the legislature that day. This is not a no money down real estate deal to get the city to sell bonds to build an over-priced, unneeded baseball park.

Larry James
2015 years 8 months ago

So Chuck has signed up for investing millions in a cold storage facility in Wilmington.. What about the River Front Development that he has been working on since 2007 ? Has not completed the marina, hotels, just moving dirt around for years. You can find lots of websites and articles about what he said he was going to do at the river front on the web. One says everything was fully funded years ago..but guess what. NOT built yet. Has anyone every thought this guy should be Vetted. Apparently the Gov staff did not Vett him concerning the state grant and taking photos with him for the cold storage and whether Chuck had any funds to invest lined up. How much real money is committed from Chuck or his investors and has it started? March 8th 2014 he says they will start on the facility in May 2014 and finish next Jan. Well has he started or close to starting this month? I bet not! But maybe I will be surprised.

I would love to see where Chuck is on the cold storage building..start moving the dirt around? What is the date for completion of this facility? Search on Chuck Schoninger or the following:
Zephyr,USA Investco,River front development

2015 years 8 months ago

Meats are shipped frozen 98% of the time.
Fruits and veggies are NEVER frozen.
From what I see this port facility is not a freezer but a cooler (there is a difference).

Perhaps they’ve outgrown the refrigerated shipping containers that they are currently using for shipping fruits? (these are plug in type containers with self contained cooling units).

If it were a freezer I’d question Shoningers intentions, as there is no need. But a bulk cooler? The Port may welcome that.

2015 years 8 months ago

“while creating ABOUT 110 jobs.”


“build a 75,000-square-foot cold storage facility to store fruit, vegetables and meat. The facility COULD ultimately be expanded to 300,000 square feet, in 75,000-square-foot increments.”

Meats from Smithfield, House of Raeford, and Carolina Turkeys are usually shipped frozen – not refrigerated.
Vegetable and fruit are ALWAYS shipped refrigerated and NEVER frozen. It’s curious…….

I don’t think it will be as many jobs as Chuck says – but – considering that the Port is a designated site under Homeland Security and is patrolled by them, I think any Chinese workers (if that’s what you were alluding to) would be checked thoroughly.