By Matt Masters

The Joint Economic and Community Development Board of Wilson County’s executive committee met Thursday to discuss new projects and businesses coming to Wilson County and what it sees as a good first quarter outlook for development.

The meeting’s most significant agenda item was the consideration of expanded investment by an existing manufacturer, identified as Project Commerce.

The project expansion has an additional investment of $17 million in real and $17.5 million in personal property. The project is projected to require between 25-50 additional jobs with a projected average wage of $21 per hour. All new positions would be full time, and the employees would be covered under the company’s benefits programs. Currently, the company totals 175 employees and committed to 90 new positions in the 2018 payment in lieu of taxes incentive program.

According to a memo provided by the JECDB, the new project was evaluated using a minimum of 25 new positions and the $17.5 million in personal property value, which was the same format of the approved PILOT. The additional personal property investment would result in a projected abatement of $357,054 and a payment to the county of $58,187 during a proposed five-year term. Additionally, under the proposal, the company would be responsible for the payment of all real property taxes during the term, which was estimated at $856,426. The motion to approve the expansion was passed unanimously.

Other major projects discussed were Project Clover, a consultant-led project that seeks 50-70 to build a 430,000-530,000-square-feet expandable manufacturing facility with up to 200 jobs in the first phase. A decision date was set for the first quarter of 2019 with full production expected to take place by the first quarter of 2021.

Project Mockingbird is a Nashville real estate firm that represents a client that seeks a 100-acre interstate-exposed site to build a 1 million to 1.5 million square feet e-commerce and logistics center. The project will also have an onsite sales and showroom component. The company president visited the site Dec. 4.

Project Grayfield is a tier one supplier in the aeronautics industry. It is a consultant-led project that requires between 200-250 acres with rail service. The three-phase project could total up to 1,200 employees and have a total investment of more than $1 billion.  The Department of Economic and Community Development project manager toured the Sparta Pike site Dec. 19.

Project Upper is a project with Volunteer State Community College, which seeks to build a minimum of 12,000-15,000 square feet of training and classroom space for a new center. The project manager said a site was identified and submitted to the state for comments and consideration and has a site approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

Project Slim is a project that involves Dykes Industries that closed on 25 acres off Maddox Road at Couchville Pike and Interstate 840. The company would build a 120,000-square-feet facility, which would provide final finishes and assembly services for doors and windows. T.W. Frierson is the firm responsible to build the facility with expected completion in 2019.

Project Runway is a Nashville real estate firm that has a client who wants to buy a new 400,000-square-foot facility in Park 840 in Lebanon. The project aims to consolidate two Tennessee locations and total 450 positions. The company expects to hire a minimum of 150 people locally. The JECDB executive committee approved the PILOT request.