Here's what's next after land acquired is for a $200M e-commerce warehouse in Alcoa
The developer planning a massive e-commerce warehouse in Alcoa can move forward after the Industrial Development Board of Blount County and the cities of Maryville and Alcoa purchased the needed property.
Work at 4141 S. Singleton Station Road began in early December and "is progressing," a spokesperson for the Blount Partnership told Knox News.
Hillwood Enterprises has proposed a 635,000-square-foot distribution center — dubbed "Project Pearl" — intended for an unnamed internet retailer.
An official announcement of the occupant and estimated completion date is expected in the next few weeks, but submitted plans for the building bear the marks of Amazon.
The deed transferring the 84 acres from Pine Lakes Golf and Country Club Inc. to the Industrial Development Board was signed Jan. 15.
Industrial development boards aim to grow the local economy by acquiring land, financing projects or reducing tax obligations for large employers looking to grow or move to the area. Because the Industrial Development Board is tax-exempt, the deed for this property does not include a sale price.
The latest figures, according to Blount County meeting records, indicate Hillwood's tenant will create "no less than 800 new jobs with minimum hourly wages" of at least $15 and will invest no less than $200 million in the project.
If the occupant supplied 800 jobs, it would become the sixth-largest employer in Blount County and the second-largest employer in Alcoa behind Arconic Inc., which employs 853, according to Blount Partnership data.
Blount County and the city of Alcoa committed to loaning the Industrial Development Board $12 million to begin infrastructure work on the project, to be repaid by the board through a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes program.
The golf course, located just east of the Alcoa Highway and Pellissippi Parkway interchange, closed in 2019.
The proposed site plan presented in October called for 1,092 parking spaces for cars, 272 trailer spaces and about 50 shipping and receiving docks. Earlier designs called for a larger building, about 800,000 square feet.
Hillwood has several properties across the country with Amazon as the tenant. Site plan designer Ware Malcomb has also provided architectural services for Amazon projects in the past, including the recent completion of a 1 million square foot warehouse for "Project Tarpon" in Chicago.
Hillwood is also the developer behind a proposed e-commerce facility at the now-closed Knoxville Center Mall in East Knoxville. Knoxville City Council approved the needed rezoning for the 219,000-square-foot warehouse project to move forward in November. The occupant for that property has not yet been announced, nor has the property, which is split into four parcels with separate owners, been sold.
Hillwood has estimated the planned occupant for the Knoxville Center Mall warehouse would bring about 730 jobs with an estimated payroll of $22 million per year.
It's unclear whether the developer has the same end user in mind for both properties, but the same occupant would be possible. Amazon operates warehouses in Chattanooga and Charleston, Tennessee, about 30 minutes apart.
Source: Knoxville News Sentinel Brenna McDermott
The East Tennessee Economic Development Agency markets and recruits business for the 15 counties in the greater Knoxville-Oak Ridge region of East Tennessee. Visit www.eteda.org
Published January 28, 2021