Piscataway, New Jersey-based American Standard Brands has leased a portion of the building located at 1714 Heil Quaker Blvd., the former Whirlpool plant in La Vergne.
According to The Tennessean, the Metro Council will vote on a tax abatement deal Tuesday for $750,000 in property tax abatements over five years, similar to what Oberto Brands got two years ago when it set up a beef jerky processing operation here. American Standard would pay $114,258 a year — the property taxes paid on the building for the 2014 tax year — plus 50 percent of the increase in taxes from improvements.
Building owner Ashley Interchange LLC plans to invest about $22.75 million for improvements. If at some point full-time employment falls below 480, or 80 percent of the 600 jobs the company has promised, American Standard would be required to pay the full tax.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics this week published its regular report on job and wage growth in the nation's counties, this time for the fourth quarter of 2014. The report makes for fun reading for some in the local economic development community: Williamson County's 6.1 percent job growth rate last year ranks fifth nationally in the BLS' large-county category while the 4.9 percent increase in average wages put the county in the top 50. Similarly, Rutherford County's job growth of 3.9 percent easily outpaced the nation's 2.2 percent pace.
Davidson County's strong growth of 3.6 percent, however, is made a good bit more sobering when put alongside its wage numbers, which clocked in at just 1.5 percent. That put the heart of Middle Tennessee and the home of more than half its jobs all the way in 306th out of 340 counties. With the mayoral race heating up, we're thinking the topic of wages and bringing quality jobs to Davidson County will quickly move up the agenda from here.
You can peruse the full BLS report at this link.
It's been a few quarters since we've passed on information about Williamson County's economic development pipeline. The latest word from the county's chamber of commerce shows that it is contention for about 30 projects that could bring with them almost 7,200 jobs. The first number is in line with where things stood last summer but the jobs number has dropped more than 3,000.
Appalachian Air, which operates a non-stop air service between Nashville and Pikeville, Ky., is shutting down operations in July.
Blame the "War on Coal," the airline says:
Spokesman Luke Schmidt said, "We're certainly very disappointed that we had to take this action but it was the prudent thing to do because until the economy turns around, we just didn't see any way that we were going to be able to build this to the proper level".
Officials with Appalachian Air say their financial struggles are similar to those of many businesses in the region.
Schmidt added, "Unfortunately like a lot of businesses in the Eastern Kentucky area, we were yet another victim of the War on Coal."
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