After lobbying state, city and county leaders, Lenovo has decided to build a new research and development center in Morrisville.
Enticed in part by job development grants worth some $8 million over several years, Lenovo said Thursday that it would invest $84 million in the new facility as well as add 400 new jobs over the next five years. Lenovo currently employs 1,820 people in RTP.
The announcement was made by Lenovo United States officials and North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley. Lenovo’s UY.S. unit is part of international conglomerate Lenovo, which is based in China.
Lenovo acquired the personal computer division of IBM, which is based in Research Triangle Park. Lenovo workers still work in IBM facilities.
Both The News & Observer in Raleigh and The Herald-Sun in Durham had reported that Lenvo was actively lobbying for incentives to keep the computer operation in the Triangle. Lenovo had sought nearly $13 million in incentives from Durham County, according to The Herald-Sun. The News & Observer said Lenovo was seeking $14 million in incentives. Media reports said Lenovo had also discussed relocating its campus to another state.
Also participating as “partners” who “contributed” to the Lenovo negotiations were the N.C. Department of Commerce, Wake County, the Town of Morrisville and Progress Energy, according to Easley’s statement.
“Lenovo exemplifies the type of company we want in North Carolina by providing sustainable, top-quality jobs for hard-working North Carolina families,” Easley said in a statement. “As a leading global information technology company, Lenovo will enhance our existing information technology industry in the Triangle.”
According to Easley’s announcement, most of the new jobs will be in management, research and development, sales, marketing, engineering, finance and information technology. The average salary will be $70,000.
Lenovo will begin construction of its new facility in November and expects it to be complete in January of 2007.
“We have a proud history in North Carolina and look forward to building our new company here,” said Fran O’Sullivan, Lenovo Product Group’s chief operating officer. “Staying in North Carolina proved to make the most business sense for our customers, our employees and our stockholders, and we are grateful for Gov. Easley’s support.”