People who’ve been cheering for yet more economic development in Guilford County were elated on Monday, May 22, with news that a cutting-edge medical company seeking to reverse and even cure chronic kidney disease planned to make a $458 million investment into a new facility and bring 330 new jobs to Greensboro.

The plans have been kept under wraps for months – so much so that even many economic development officials and top-tier county leaders were caught by complete surprise when the Rhino Times asked them about the plans.

The company intends to locate its facility on Greenbourne Drive (pictured above) in Greensboro, near the junction of NC-68 and I-73. That’s also near Piedmont Triad International Airport where a whole lot of other new economic development is going on right now.

When the Rhino Times called one top area economic development official on Monday afternoon to find out information about ProKidney, he said he had no idea regarding the company or the project.  When told it would be a nearly half-billion-dollar investment that will offer over 300 new jobs, he simply said “Unbelievable,” and, after a moment of silence, he added, “I’m going to go look up the company.”

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Brent Christensen did know well about the project.  He has been acting as an intermediary between the company and the Board of Commissioners in private because the company is seeking (read: will definitely get)  $15.3  million in incentives from the county and it will be making other asks of the City of Greensboro and the state of North Carolina as well.

Christensen, when asked about the project, said he could not make any comment at this time, but he did add he was pleased with the recent economic development progress this area has been seeing.

This is an unusual win because the company is currently headquartered so close to Greensboro. ProKidney is based right next door in Winston-Salem.  That city has a vibrant biotech base, yet ProKidney is choosing to jump over the county line to Greensboro.

Legally, the county, city and state must offer the incentives first and then the company can officially make the announcement.