A large crowd gathered at the Central Carolina Enterprise Park’s spec building Tuesday afternoon for an announcement that an economic development deal called “Project Jupiter” was going to bring San Francisco-based Audentes Therapeutics to Sanford and Lee County, and with it 209 new jobs and a tax base investment of $109 million.

Several area and business leaders, including Audentes Senior Vice President Don Wuchterl, spoke about the process of bringing the company to town:

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper:

“North Carolina is a center for the life sciences. Companies across the glob are looking at North Carolina, and we’re rivaling Cambridge and San Francisco and other places. This company wanted a skilled workforce. They knew we had amazing research institutions and the best community college system to provide the talent.”

Listen below to The Rant’s exclusive interview with Governor Roy Cooper:


Sanford Area Growth Alliance Chairman Kirk Bradley:

“It seems like we’ve been doing this kind of event every two or three months. Let’s keep it going.”

Sanford Mayor Chet Mann:

“This is truly a banner day in Sanford, North Carolina. One of the things we do well is we build great teams – and what a great team we have that put this together today. Your presence here will transform our workforce and lift them up. Today we now have the two greatest gene therapy companies in the world, right here where we stand.”

Lee County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Amy Dalrymple:

“Lee County’s economic successes have been rooted in our strong partnerships. We’re constantly working together behind the scenes – sometimes it’s the little things, sometimes it’s the big things like today. But we’re constantly working. We are so excited that Audentes recognizes the potential benefits of locating here. But this isn’t just a company that’s coming here to provide jobs and tax base. They’re a company with a mission to help people across the globe.”

Audentes Therapeutics Senior Vice President Don Wuchterl:

“This is very overwhelming. The turnout is incredible. We had exceeded our capacity at our location in San Francisco, and so we went on a journey about a year ago. We followed several criteria. One of them was access to a skilled and talented workforce. We were looking for a community with an established life science presence, and this area is incredible for that. We also didn’t want to take employees from existing businesses – we wanted to build our own base over time.”