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RSI Home Products, a California-based maker of bathroom and kitchen fixtures, has broken ground on a $7.5 million, 320,000-sf distribution and assembly plant in Lincolnton, about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.

The RSI expansion project is a joint venture between the Lincoln Economic Development Association, Lincoln County commissioners and The Keith Corp. The new building is slated for completion next May.

The company already has a 315,000-sf plant in the park on Generals Boulevard that employs about 350 people. Household items will continue to be produced here as well as at the new plant. RSI supplies national improvement chainssuch as Lowe’s and Home Depot and could double its work force when the new plant is completed.

RSI’s 30-acre site is just a small parcel within the 445-acre industrial park at U.S. 321 and Finger Mill Road. To date, the five-year old park has attracted only one other tenant, Heafner Tires & Products, who bought 50 acres.

Both companies are expanding operations, causing city and county leaders tobe optimistic about the future of the park. County commissioners were instrumental in paving the way for RSI’s expansion by investing $1 million in park infrastructure. The state will chip in by providing road and sign improvements.

County commissioners hired The Keith Corp. of Charlotte to construct the new building and lease it to RSI. The firm will also develop the park. Chairman Graeme M. Keith says the firm has several other prospects looking at thepark, which he thinks is in an excellent location.

City and county officials have long envisioned the park as a way to increase job opportunities and improve the tax base. They also set a goal to retain existing businesses. RSI, now considered an anchor tenant, is theninth-largest taxpayer in Lincoln County.

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