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State, local leaders kicking around incentives for 'Project Soccer'

READ MORE: State, local leaders kicking around incentives for 'Project Soccer'

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A new business could be coming to the Cape Fear, and it could bring thousands of jobs with it, but incentives could be the key.

North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis is in the area today. He says he thinks North Carolina stands a good chance of scoring the company for the International Logistics Park located on the Brunswick-Columbus County line. It doesn't look like much, but if local leaders have it their way, it could mean big things for southeastern North Carolina.

"It could have a significant economic impact," said Tillis, a Mecklenburg County Republican. "On the low side, 1,000 jobs. On the high side, as many as 3,000, 4,000 over time. So in an area of the state that has above average unemployment, we have to look at all these opportunities."

Tillis says state and local governments are working hard to get what is referred to as "Project Soccer" come to the area. Leaders have remained quiet so far on the plan, which Tillis says is for the company's benefit.

"When companies come in, they're working strategically against their competitors, so this is not about the state not wanting to tell the citizens. This is about the company not wanting their competition to know the move that they're making," Tillis said.

Because of this, local leaders did not want to comment about the project. They say it has been in the works for months, and they do not want to blow it now.

Tillis says the unnamed company is also considering two other states.

There has been talk of needing to expand rail service to the site to make it better suited for the company. Tillis says the conversation will continue on what else North Carolina can do to persuade the company to choose the International Logistics Park. Additional incentives, though, could face a tough road, as many Republicans in the legislature campaigned against them.

Officials say they expect to have a decision from the company in the next few weeks.

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