The Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board (FLCIDB) is pursuing grant funds to assist with the cost of a building a 200,000-square-foot pad-ready site at Runway Center, a site that would then be marketed to industrial prospects.

The cost of building such a site at the Park City industrial park is estimated at $871,792, said Elaine Middleton, FLCIDB executive director, during the September meeting of the board. The board voted unanimously to apply for two grants, one that covers $500,000 of the costs and another they hope will offset a portion of the $371,792 local match.

The site development grant applications will be made through the State of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), according to discussion. The proposal is being made without any additional funding requirements of Lincoln County’s legislative body.

In other business, officials discussed ongoing work at Runway Centre where HIROTEC Group, a global automotive supplier, is building a new state-of-the-art exhaust production and stamping facility.

“Contractors are wrapping up site work and should begin digging the footers in the next week or two,” said Middleton. “As they were building the pad for their 138,000-square-foot building, they went ahead and built the pad for their future expansion.”

Located on 34 acres in Runway Centre, the plant now under construction represents a $48 million capital investment and 100 new jobs for the area. The expansion would at least double the facility’s size and substantially increase the investment made in the community by the company. It would also increase the company’s workforce.

Teams representing some of HIROTEC’s key management positions were also in town last week, visiting the area and taking in local sites and attractions. Tours included highlights such as Lincoln Medical Center, area restaurants and shops, as well as housing.

Middleton also updated the board on Project 2019-07, which is considering the purchase of the most recently built speculative building in the Winchester Highway industrial park. The board has granted a 30-day extension of the due diligence period for the prospect. The 30-day extension, along with the time allotted for closing, would give the prospect until mid-October to finalize arrangements.

In relation to the prospect, FLCIDB also approved a five-year payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) agreement.

Since the board’s August meeting, FLCIDB has received five requests for information (RFI’s), Middleton said, noting those included requests from an automotive supplier, industrial furnace manufacturer, air movement company, solar component manufacturer, and static motor manufacturer.

“Of those, we submitted the spec building for the industrial furnace manufacturer looking for a 50,000 to 100,000-square-foot building, with an estimated 80 to 100 jobs,” she said. “We also submitted that building to a static motor manufacturer, which is seeking a 50,000- to 75,000-square-foot building, starting with 60 jobs that would grow to over 300 in the first five years.”

The latter company has also made a visit to the community, she noted, explaining that static motors are used in building all-terrain, recreational and zero-turn vehicles.

Other notable visits in recent weeks have focused on available property at Runway Centre, as well as the Goodman manufacturing facility, Middleton said.

The board is also at work making plans for an Industrial Appreciation event for existing industries and the 2019 Manufacturing Day, an event aimed at supporting local manufacturers and increasing awareness of their significant role in the community. Manufacturing Day will be observed here on Friday, Oct. 4.

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