Pellissippi Place committee OKs agreement with ProNova Solutions
By Robert Norris | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Operating Committee of Pellissippi Place for Blount and Knox counties, and the cities of Alcoa and Maryville voted Thursday to approve an agreement with ProNova Solutions that will bring 525 jobs and a $52 million investment to the high-tech, regional research and development park.
ProNova, a medical sciences company, will be the anchor tenant at the 450-acre R&D park located at Pellissippi Parkway and Old Knoxville Highway in Alcoa.
The new company specializes in the design of cutting-edge cancer diagnosis and treatment using proton therapy.
The agreement, previously approved by the Industrial Development Board of Blount County, provides for ProNova to acquire about 27 acres of the park at no charge.
Property taxes will be abated with the company paying no taxes for the first eight years. ProNova will start paying property taxes in the ninth year at a 20 percent rate. The taxes will rise in 20 percent increments each following year and be paid at a 100 percent rate in year 13.
There was discussion about the incentives offered ProNova to locate at Pellissippi Place.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett asked, “This tax abatement schedule, is this pretty much standard of what goes on when you’re recruiting these large corporate entities?”
“It is,” replied Bryan Daniels, president and CEO of the Blount Partnership. “But, in our agreements that we’ll do with them, any collaboration they do, any R&D, any subsidiaries that come out of their endeavor, will have to all locate in Pellissippi Place.
“It’s kind of the Volkswagen model, if you would, of the parts suppliers there. All of those entities have got to go in that development.”
Burchett noted that he had been surprised when told how much the Electrolux plant in Memphis was subsidized. He had understood at one time that the incentives were in the $13-$17 million range, but then was told they were much higher, although he had not confirmed the total package amount.
The Commercial Appeal reported in December 2010, Electrolux would build a $190 million manufacturing facility in Memphis and receive $132 million in local and state incentives to land the company’s 1,200 jobs.
Becoming the anchor tenant at the Pellissippi Place technology research and development park, ProNova will construct two facilities in phases over the next few years. Phase One consists of a 30,000-square-foot, two-story office and research building with a 40,000-square-foot assembly and test area supporting 35 employees initially.
Phase Two adds a 120,000-square-foot, two-story building with a projected staff of 110 in 2015 and expanding to a cumulative total of 525 by 2018.
A total of nearly 200,000 square feet will be used upon completion of both phases, including about 130,000 in office space and 60,000 of commercialization and research space.
Under the incentive agreement, if ProNova fails to start construction in Phase One of about 70,000 square feet of office, manufacturing and research space within two years, the Blount County Industrial Development Board may terminate the lease.
If the company fails to build Phase Two facilities, the tax abatement would be reduced. If ProNova does not start construction of the Phase Two facilities within six years, the IDB may terminate the lease to the property shown as Lot 3A on the plat map.
If the firm does not make the prescribed capital expenditures of $52 million and employ 500 by 2017, the tax abatement would be reduced.
At the close, Daniels said, “We’re definitely helping to establish a new knowledge-based economy here that exists but in pockets in the South. This is a big step forward.”