Sale of Nippon Steel

Next Tuesday has been set as the tentative closing date on the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Development Board’s (FLCIDB) sale of the Nippon Steel building here to an investment firm that’ll be looking to resell or lease the facility to another company.

Only minor details remained as the industrial board held its December meeting just a few days before Christmas.

“Our sale is wrapping up,” said Elaine Middleton, FLCIDB executive director, noting that the investment firm purchasing the facility was completing its due diligence as both parties moved into a sales contract. “Tentatively right now, there’s a close date on that building set for Jan. 8.”

In September, the board agreed to sell the building for $2.2 million to the investment firm that’ll be looking to resell or lease the facility to another company. The debt on the 62,000-square-foot building stands at $1.938 million.



A busy December saw the industrial board meet in a special session earlier in the month. During that meeting, the board authorized its officers to execute payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) documents, clearing the way for HIROTEC America, Inc., to make its announcement Dec. 17 that it would be constructing a new manufacturing facility in Runway Centre south of Fayetteville.

Referred to as Project Shamrock in meetings prior to the announcement, HIROTEC America, a member of the Japan-based HIROTEC Group, will invest approximately $40 million and create more than 100 jobs in Lincoln County over the next three years. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2019, and the company anticipates the plant will be operational in the third quarter of 2020.

HIROTEC America, established in 1988 with its headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich., is an automotive Tier 1 supplier specializing in manufacturing tooling. This new location, housing approximately 148,000 square feet, will add part production capacity in the United States.

According to discussion in the industrial board’s regular session, Mazda is the company’s largest customer. The firm also serves Honda, BMW, Nissan and Volkswagon.

Middleton noted that the preceding week, she and the state project manager visited the company’s facilities in Ohio and in Michigan – “It was very impressive,” she said, going on to describe the facilities and similarities they will share with the planned property here, as well as key leadership’s plans to move to Fayetteville. “They really want to become very involved in our community … It’s an exciting time for us here.”


NextEra Energy

Officials representing NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, out of Juno, Fla., were also present for the industrial board’s regular December meeting, as board members authorized its officers to execute a PILOT for the 150-megawatt solar installation to be built on 1,200 acres in the Elora area.

The announcement, made in early November, noted that the Elora site, along with another 227-megawatt location to be constructed by First Solar in Colbert County, Ala., will comprise the largest solar installations in both Tennessee and Alabama. Their combined 377-megawatt output is part of a historic agreement to support Facebook’s new $750 million data center in Huntsville, Ala., with 100-percent renewable energy.

The installation here will represent a $150 million investment, and even with the PILOT, it will generate $113,000 in tax revenues for the county in its first year.


TMD expansion

Work is continuing on the expansion of Toledo Molding & Die (TMD) that will ultimately double the plant’s size and add between 150 and 200 jobs to the company’s local workforce.

TMD, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, began operations here in March of last year after announcing a year earlier that it had chosen Fayetteville for its newest location. That selection, which came after the company had considered 30 possible sites, would see TMD invest $20 million here and create 250 jobs.

The 150 to 200 jobs that will come with the expansion will be in addition to those 250 positions originally projected here.

A global, full service supplier of interior and air and fluid management systems for the automotive industry, TMD is located in the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Industrial Park on U.S. Highway 64. The 126,000-square-foot plant, constructed by the FLCIDB at a cost of approximately $9.5 million and leased to the company, will double to 152,000 square feet with the expansion.

“Hopefully, completion will be sometime around February,” said Middleton.


Other business

In other business, Middleton reported that she had been able to respond to two of four requests for information in the weeks since the last FLCIDB meeting – requests she was unable to respond to called for a location within 50 miles of Nashville and another seeking 70 developable acres for a 500,000-square-foot building.

Submissions included the Nippon Steel building for a bakery business seeking a building at least 50,000 square feet in size and the speculative building for a German automotive manufacturer looking for an existing building housing between 75,000 and 100,000 square feet.

She also noted that she had a second site visit from an automotive manufacturer, as well as a visit from a Middle East company in the business of plastics recycling.

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