Industry growth creating 400 new jobs

 LUCY WILLIAMS

editor & publisher

 Expansions at four local industries are expected to create nearly 400 new jobs here in the next year, say Fayetteville/Lincoln County Industrial Development Board (FLCIDB) officials.

And more could be in the works, according to discussion during the board’s July meeting.

Franke Expansion

Work is underway on the 78,000-square-foot warehouse addition to Franke’s facility here in Fayetteville. The $11.3 million investment is expected to be complete in six months and create 66 new jobs.

Construction has gotten well underway at Franke in Fayetteville, where a 78,000-square-foot expansion is expected to be completed in the next six months. The addition represents an $11.3 million investment and is expected to create 66 new jobs.

The transfer of production lines from Daikin Industries’ McQueen International plant in Auburn, NY, to its Fayetteville Goodman facility began in April. Expected to take 18 months, the relocation will result in 250-plus additional jobs here.

“That’s pressing the need for a new distribution center here even more,” said Will Thomas, IDB chairman, explaining that the company is continuing talks of locating a new distribution center in Fayetteville as well as updating the existing Goodman plant here. And according to discussion, the possibility of Goodman acquiring the fairgrounds for the center is no longer being considered by the company.

Frito-Lay’s $70 million expansion, a 125,000-square-foot warehouse addition, is also progressing well, said Thomas, noting that the facility is expected to result in between 50 and 100 additional jobs here in the summer of 2014.

The shell of the warehouse has been completed, with interior work now getting underway, said officials. Once completed, Frito-Lay in Fayetteville is expected to become one of the company’s primary hubs nationally.

C&S Plastics is also anticipating a substantial expansion.

“They’re doing their due diligence on the site now,” Thomas said, noting that the company is seeking additional acreage adjacent to its current site in the Winchester Highway industrial park where it plans a 30,000-square-foot expansion. Officials have said that as many as 75 additional employees, and possibly more, will be needed once that project is complete. The expansion is expected to represent a $3 to $5 million investment.

Work has also gotten underway on the new speculative building being constructed in the industrial park, said officials, noting that contractors began moving topsoil earlier this month.

In other business during the IDB meeting, officials welcomed new members to the board. Battle Bagley and Jeff Alder were appointed to the board by the Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Lincoln County Commission during their June meetings. Both bodies also reappointed Mickey Lawson to the board.

Steps to secure certification in the state’s Select Tennessee program are continuing, said Elaine Middleton, economic development director, noting that a revised report on a wetlands delineation study is anticipated. That would make the joint city/county industrial park on the Winchester Highway deal ready and see the state including it in their marketing efforts.

Middleton also reported that FLCIDB has made it through the first round of a TVA Invest Prep Grant process aimed at gaining TVA funding assistance for the sewer project in southern Lincoln County. IDB is seeking a $500,000 grant to assist with the project.

“We had attempted gaining this grant to assist with the sewer project at the industrial park, but since that work was underway at the time, it didn’t qualify,” she said, noting that the sewer project on the south end of the county then became the focus of IDB’s efforts to obtain TVA grant assistance. “We’re competing with the entire TVA seven-state region.”

A marketing campaign to gun and ammunition manufacturers is gaining good response, Middleton continued, adding that one manufacturer is planning a site visit.

Posted on Tuesday, July 30, 2013 at 5:19 am