VOL. 110 | NO. 96 | Wednesday, May 15, 1996
5/15 jts indust. dev. bd.
United Dominion, Thomas & Betts apply for tax freeze
By JAMES SNYDER
The Daily News
Two Fortune 500 companies and a third firm take property tax freeze proposals to the Memphis/Shelby County Industrial Development Board today.
The board grants payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, known as PILOTs, which hold property taxes at their pre-development level for up to 15 years in order to encourage industrial investment in the Memphis area.
Electronic components manufacturer Thomas & Betts Corp. wants a 15-year tax freeze for each of five phases of a new corporate headquarters located on 43 acres at the Southwind Industrial Park on Hacks Cross Road and Tournament Drive.
Williams-Sonoma Inc., a retailer based in San Francisco, is applying for a five-year freeze on a 400,000-square-foot warehousing and distribution center, adding to 1.3 million square feet the company already occupies in the Memphis area.
United Dominion Industries Ltd., a Canadian manufacturer of engineered industrial material equipment with its American headquarters in North Carolina, is requesting a seven-year tax freeze for a 40,000-square-foot complex to house the worldwide headquarters of its $300 million Varco-Pruden Buildings Division, located currently at 6000 Poplar Ave.
Varco-Pruden senior vice president Bill Andrews said the company wanted to relocate because of a higher rental rate it faces at its Poplar location.
The United Dominion project is estimated at $4 million. Once built, the facility would employ 88 workers already located here and as many as 27 more. Total annual salaries would come in under $9.5 million, and $2 million would be spent on local vendors, $400,000 more than the company now spends locally.
For now, the Fortune 500 company has two options for a local site. One option is a four-acre lot at Goodlett Farms on Goodlett Farms Parkway and Charles Bryan Road, to be developed by Belz Enterprises. The other option is a 4-acre parcel at the Southwind Industrial Park on Hacks Cross Road and Knight Arnold Parkway, leased by Belz Devco, a limited liability partnership to be created by the Weston Cos.
United Dominion is looking at several other sites in Tennessee, Mississippi, Greensboro, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark. The Memphis site is a preference but not a lock, Andrews said.
Williams-Sonoma Inc.s application asks for a five-year tax freeze on a new warehousing and distribution facility estimated to cost over $10.6 million.
The company predicts the new center would add 115 new jobs with total annual salaries of over $2.3 million. Sacramento, Ca.-based Corporate Estates Inc. is slated to sublease the facility, which would be located at Southpoint Distribution Park, south of Shelby Drive on Southpoint Drive.
Fortune 500 company Thomas & Betts already has broken ground on its new 227,000-square-foot headquarters, which is owned and leased to it by Boyle Southwind LLC, created by Boyle Investment Co. specifically for the project.
The six-phase project involves the construction of five more buildings over the next 13 years.
The company has contracted ETT Corp. to handle landscape design, the Hnedak Bobo Group P.C. for architecture and Mid-America Construction Inc. to build the $19 million facility.