Muscle Shoals spec building2

Tuscumbia Mayor and incoming Shoals Industrial Development Committee Chairman Kerry Underwood, left, and Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford check out the speculative building Tuesday at Shoals Research Airpark. [BERNIE DELINSKI/TIMESDAILY]

FLORENCE — With a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Shoals Industrial Development Committee sealed the final step needed to bring a Tier 1 automotive supplier to Shoals Research Airpark.

The committee approved dedicating $11.5 million from the Shoals Economic Development Fund to secure the company's decision to locate at a Shoals Economic Development Authority speculative building at the Airpark in Muscle Shoals.

The automotive supplier will produce 279 jobs, officials said.

SEDA officials have not made the company's name public at this point, instead sticking to the code name Project Tango.

The company will lease the building for 12 years.

The SEDA funds include a project to expand the spec building to 200,000 square feet, which will double its existing size, SEDA President Kevin Jackson said.

Jackson said the company is expected to make the formal announcement late this month or early in August.

"It's a very good company and a very good project," he said. "We're fortunate to have it during a pandemic."

The $11.5 million would go toward the total $75 million capital investment.

SEDA Vice President Adam Himber said the average entry-level wage would be $19.06 an hour.

Jackson said having the spec building will allow the company to get in and set up for production quickly.

The company wants to start producing its product by April 1, Jackson said. The schedule calls for machinery to arrive in February.

He said the spec building played a big role in securing the industry because it is taking several months off the start-up timetable.

SEDA officials visited company officials in Detroit in May 2019, Jackson said. Company officials visited the Shoals this year, and made their final decisions to locate here.

Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford commended SEDA officials for landing the industry.

"This is a big project and Kevin and them deserve a lot of credit for securing it," Bradford said.

Earlier this month, the SEDA Board unanimously approved recommending the money, which is from the Shoals Economic Development Fund, for the project.

The committee, which is made up of local elected leaders, followed those recommendations Tuesday.

The fund comes from a half-cent sales tax in Lauderdale and Colbert counties.

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