Alabama – A planned $110 million Remington firearms factory in west Huntsville
is now locked and loaded.
meeting Thursday night, the Huntsville City Council approved a development
agreement that guarantees Remington $14.5 million in local incentives -
including free use of the sprawling former Chrysler electronics plant near the
But America’s oldest gun maker will have to repay the city if
it fails to deliver on its employment promises.
Remington says that by the end of 2015, there will be at least 280 full-time employees at its Huntsville gun factory earning a minimum average
hourly wage of $19.50. That comes to $40,560 a year.
The company plans to rapidly ramp up hiring from there:
680 employees by the end of 2016;
1,018 employees by 2017;
1,258 employees by 2018;
1,498 employees by 2019;
1,698 employees by 2020; and
1,868 employees by 2021.
Also, Remington promises to bump the minimum average salary from $19.50
to $20.19 an hour – $41,995 per year – in 2017.
The company says it will spend at least $110 million renovating and equipping the Huntsville factory. The development agreement gives Remington the option of
transferring up to $20 million worth of equipment and “other capital assets”
to Huntsville from other states. Remington also makes guns in upstate New York
Huntsville’s Industrial Development Board recently bought the former
Chrysler plant for $10.5 million, using a bank loan guaranteed by Remington.
Title to the building and 145-acre grounds off Wall-Triana Highway will be
transferred to the company in about a month.
The development agreement says Remington will rent the facility from the
city for $1.25 million per year. However, the annual mortgage payment will be
waived each year the company meets its employment and salary targets.
Mayor Tommy Battle said the contract includes “clawback” provisions that
require Remington to pay a percentage of the mortgage if it fails to create
all of the promised jobs.
For example, Remington says it will hire at least 338 new full-time employees at
its Huntsville factory in 2017. If it hires only half that number, the company
would be responsible for half of that year’s mortgage payment — $625,000.
And if Remington shuts down the Huntsville plant within five years, it would
either have to pay the city $12.5 million or give back the factory.
Battle said the building was recently insured for $235 million.
If Remington satisfies all the employment and salary terms, it will own
the factory and grounds outright after 10 years.
“Remington is a great and honorable company,” said Battle, “and I don’t
ever expect to have to touch those clawbacks.”