STL working to stay in Carter County after lease expires

Published 9:32 am Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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Leaders with Carter County Tomorrow are working with officials at Send the Light Distribution to help find a new location in Carter County.
If STL cannot find a new location in Carter County by June 30 when its lease expires, it is likely the business possibly could relocate outside of the county.
STL CEO Glenn Bailey was hesitant to discuss the details of the situation but said the business was in the process of exploring options for a new location.
STL relocated to Elizabethton from Johnson City six years ago. The company consolidated its operations from facilities in Georgia and Nevada to the Elizabethton location. The distribution center now employees 110 people.
Around one year ago, STL started the process to purchase its building in Stoney Creek but Bailey said another buyer was selected for the building. This means the company is in need of a new home when their lease expires.
“This is not our choice,” Bailey said. “This is not what we wanted to do. We were trying to buy this building but someone who was better equipped to make that purchase came in and was able to buy the facility we are in. That is where we are.”
CCT President Tom Anderson said STL officials had been considering other sites in Carter County, as well as a site in Bristol, but had not committed to any of the locations.
“We are working to retain them,” Anderson said. “I can say that it is looking positive they will be able to stay in Carter County.”
Bailey said it was his desire to stay in Carter County if the new facility can be found.
“I feel good about the way Carter County has worked with us,” Bailey said. “We want to stay if it works out.”
The STL building is currently owned by Hollingsworth Capital Partners in Clinton, Tenn. Anderson said the details of the new tenant could not be discussed at this time due to confidentiality
Anderson updated the CCT board on other possible economic development projects during their meeting Monday morning.
He said Allied Dispatch Solutions had located in Borla Complex in the former Census Bureau unit.
A grand opening is expected after the start of the new year. The business, which dispatches calls from services like OnStar, has already hired 50 people and plans to hire a total of 80.
Anderson said “Project Albuquerque” was “looking good” to choose Carter County for its home. “Project Albuquerque” would a light manufacturing/distribution industry that requires a 200,000 square foot building and would bring 136 jobs. He said he hoped to be able to make an announcement by the end of the year.
He also told of “Project 20/20” that is only looking in Carter County for a location and said he hoped to make an announcement for that project after the start of the new year.
“Project Snake” is another possibility for Carter County. Anderson said that while the county was outside of the project’s desired location, the county met all the requirements listed in their information request.
“We are close to the search area, so I did respond,” Anderson said. “We look good on paper so I hope they will include us in the search.”
Anderson said “Project Snake” was looking for machinists, welders and other similar employees as well as the possibility to partner with educational opportunities.
CCT is still working to gain a new hotel for the county. Anderson said a midwestern hospitality company was interested in putting a hotel in the county but was still collecting data on the possibility.
In preliminary stages is the possibility of a new industrial complex in the Elizabethton growth area. Anderson said the lot offers 100 acres and is near the city limits.

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