Asheville company moving to Tampa, taking 100 jobs

September 1, 2016

Emily Patrick | Citizen-Times

North American Roofing has based its corporate headquarters in Asheville since 1994, but company officials announced Thursday they’re moving the headquarters to Tampa.

As a result, Asheville will lose the approximately 100 administrative jobs the company created at its facility near Brevard Road.

North American Roofing employs people all over the country to install commercial roofs for large clients such as Home Depot, GE, Lowe’s, Public Storage, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s the fourth highest grossing roofing company in the country, according to Roofing Contractor trade publication, reporting $132 million in annual revenue.

North American Roofing expects to create 180 jobs in Florida and invest $800,000 in its new office space, according to a press release from Enterprise Florida, an economic development group.

Depending on the actual number of jobs it creates, North American Roofing could receive $900,000 from a Florida tax refund program — $720,000 from the state and $180,000 from local governments, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

North American Roofing’s Kelly Wade, chief operating officer, did not return repeated requests for comment that spanned several months.

Apparently, Tampa was not the company’s first choice for a new location. In May, the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners, based in Sarastoa, Florida, reviewed an economic development package for North American Roofing.

“They don’t feel good about their ability to grow their corporate headquarters staff (in Asheville), but when they look at the amenities and the quality of life that we have here, they think it’s a great place for executives to be,” said Mark Huey, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, at the May 24 meeting, which was video taped and posted to the board’s website.

About two dozen Sarasota residents and business people spoke at the meeting, and many of them raised concerns about employee poaching and competition. Their concerns swayed the board to vote against the incentives, and North American Roofing continued its search for a new location.

The company considered locations in three states, according to the press release from Enterprise Florida.

“Tampa’s talent pool both in volume and skill set is what attracted us most,” said Wade in the Enterprise Florida press release. “Beyond talent, Tampa offers everything we need to entice our key employees to relocate and ensure graduates of local universities and current workforce stay in the area — from a friendly business climate and a great lifestyle to philanthropic opportunities and excellent cultural amenities.”

It’s unclear how quickly the company will leave Asheville, but it’s already posted Tampa job openings to its website.

Representatives from the Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County, which works to retain local companies, were not immediately available for comment Friday.