Gunmaker SCCY pulls out of plans for East Tennessee headquarters
A weapons manufacturer that pledged to invest $ 22.5 million in East Tennessee is pulling out of the region and giving back the land it was given as an economic incentive.
Although the company never built its proposed Maryville headquarters, SCCY Firearms (pronounced “heaven”) will close its rented Maryville manufacturing facility by the end of October and move all operations back to Daytona Beach, Florida, CEO Joe Roebuck told The Daytona Beach News journal, part of the USA TODAY Network.
Roebuck said he informed Tennessee officials last week that he was scrapping plans for a nine-building campus in Blount County.
Instead, he will keep his headquarters in Daytona Beach and open a second plant there. SCCY manufactures semi-automatic pistols.
Roebuck said he was stepping away from nearly $ 1 million already invested in Maryville and “never took a dime” for any economic incentives offered other than the country. Jeff Muir, communications director for the Blount Partnership, said the land would be returned.
“(The decision) was definitely a shock,” said Muir. “We had high expectations when he came here. We worked diligently with him to help him find employees. He paid his taxes and made donations (to charities in the Maryville area). I think it came up the wages. “
Roebuck, who had promised at least 350 new jobs in five years, said finding skilled workers in Maryville was more difficult than expected, citing labor costs that were “30% higher than (Daytona Beach) thanks to a” major manufacturer “in” “Maryville offers higher starting salaries than he could afford.
Based in Maryville, DENSO Manufacturing has four plants totaling more than 2.3 million square feet and employing more than 4,150 people.
The company is planning a 75,000 square meter facility
SCCY announced in April 2017 that it would move its headquarters to a 68-acre campus in Big Springs Industrial Park in Maryville. Roebuck said SCCY will add a total of 350 jobs and at least 250 new jobs over five years, paying at least $ 17 an hour including benefits.
Roebuck said at the time that the Daytona Beach facility would be phased out as construction began on a 75,000-square-foot facility in Maryville. The campus should include five industrial buildings, a lodge for industry leaders, and an outdoor shooting range.
Behind the deal:Arms company SCCY is being incentivized to move to Maryville
SCCY received economic incentives from Alcoa, Maryville, and the Blount County’s Industrial Development Board. The deal included a $ 1.7 million grant – as well as the cost of the land – to build roads and install utilities on site. Previous reports in Knox News also included a choice of a two-year property tax reduction on land, buildings and equipment, or a $ 400,000 grant to train employees.
According to Roebuck, the construction plans were delayed by an industry-wide decline in sales. Instead, Roebuck rented a 10,000 square foot building in Maryville to test the market and keep Daytona Beach operations going.
Roebuck told Knox News in 2017 that Tennessee is attractive for its pro-business attitude and the quality of life in Maryville.
Email business reporter Brenna McDermott at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @_BrennaMcD.