ADVANCE, NC - Ashley Furniture's $80 million development of a new distribution center and manufacturing complex has been delayed for a year or more following the discovery of 4 acres of wetlands on land it purchased last August.

Wetlands Issue Delays Ashley Furniture's New NC Facility According to the Winston-Salem Journal, Ashley Furniture has applied for a permit with the U.S. Army Corps seeking permission to build on the wetlands. The newspaper said the wetlands, described as less than 1 foot of water, were not identified in an initial site inspection. In addition to delaying the project, the wetlands discovery has added about $1 million in engineering costs, the Journal reported.

Terry Bralley, president of the Davie County Economic Development Commission, told the Journal that he still expects project to ultimately go forward. “Most big sites go through this all the time. I’m not aware of a situation where the Corps turned down a permit,” he said.

Ashley Furniture was given a 360-acre parcel from the Davie County Economic Development Commission and purchased and an adjacent 320-acre property for $10.4 million, that includes a 1.4-million-square-foot facility last leased by R.J. Reynolds as a tobacco warehouse. That facility has been converted into a temporary distribution center resulting in the hire of about 120 people.

Ashley Furniture next planned to build a new 507,000-square-foot distribution center where the wetlands is located. The current distribution center would then be renovated as a manufacturing plant eventually creating 550 new jobs.

Editor's note: The accompanying video was taken during the Spring 2012 High Point Market, in which local dignitaries commemorated Ashley Furniture's plans to develop its mid-Atlantic manufacturing and distribution facilities in Davie County. The video includes a presentation of a North Carolina flag to Ron Wanek, chairman, and Todd Wanek, president, of Ashley Furniture.