Gun-maker backs out of Maryville plant commitment | News

The owner of the semi-automatic pistol manufacturer SCCY Firearms has announced that it will no longer build a production campus in the Big Springs Industrial Park in Maryville.

Local Official Joe Roebuck, CEO of SCCY, recently came to the area in person to tell government officials and Blount Partnership executives that he will be expanding his business in Daytona Beach, Florida – not Maryville.

The news surprised many.

Roebuck’s 2017 announcement to create a 150,000-square-foot campus in the Big Springs Road industrial park promised at least 350 jobs and $ 22.5 million in local investment.

The Daily Times reported that SCCY – pronounced “heaven” – had signed an agreement with Blount Partnership to pay $ 25,000 an acre for more than 68 acres – a total of $ 1.7 million.

Jeff Muir, director of partnership communications, said in an interview on Wednesday that SCCY paid the $ 1.7 million in 2017 and bought it from the partnership. Now the company will return the land to the partnership with a Quitclaim deed.

Under the original agreement, SCCY has committed to hire a minimum of 250 employees for a minimum of $ 17 an hour.

“We were shocked by the announcement,” said Muir. “We had worked diligently with Joe Roebuck. We were thrilled that things were going well and making progress. “

Muir admitted the construction plans were not in a fast lane, but local leaders expected the agreement to be fulfilled at least one day.

Some SCCY employees started working in Blount following the 2017 agreement. The company rented a building to start its local operations but could move out before 2021.

“It’s very sad,” said Maryville City manager Greg McClain. “We liked Joe Roebuck very much. We were very interested in his business model. The best we can say is that he just made this decision from a business perspective. “

Despite millions of potential incentives, Roebuck stated his decision to leave Tennessee cut labor costs. He told the Daytona Beach, Florida News-Journal that the state’s labor bills were high and noted “the presence of a large manufacturer in Maryville” where the initial pay was higher than he could afford.

Roebuck did not return calls from The Daily Times at press time.

The partnership continues despite the loss, said Muir.

“Some things just don’t work,” he said. “It’s nothing to hang your head over. You go ahead and learn from it and build on it. “

McClain and Muir said efforts to recruit new businesses in the area would continue.

“This will put some land back on our list for industrial recruitment,” McClain said, adding that the city has “slowed down” recruitment negotiations in recent years until the workforce can catch up.

Formerly Skyy Industries, SCCY was born in South Daytona, Florida around the turn of the century when Roebuck began manufacturing its line of CPX 9mm handguns. The company expanded its activities there in 2010 and moved into a 21,000 square meter production building.

The News-Journal reported that Roebuck is now planning to open a second plant there.

Follow @arjonesreports on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about city government reporter Andrew Jones.

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