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VOL. 132 | NO. 139 | Friday, July 14, 2017

Thomas & Betts to Invest $20.7 Million in Expansion

By Patrick Lantrip

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Thomas & Betts plans to add 75 employees and invest $20.7 million in its headquarters relocation in Memphis and is seeking a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) incentive to help defray those costs.

First reported by The Daily News June 30, the manufacturing company officially announced on Friday, July 14, that it intends to move its corporate headquarters in Memphis from Southwind to the Ridgeway Center office complex in East Memphis.

860 Ridge Lake Blvd. (Google Earth)

Thomas & Betts plans to expand local operations by consolidating research and development functions into a new facility, according to its PILOT application with the Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE). The plan will allow the company to retain 523 jobs and create 75 net new jobs, according to the application.

Thomas & Betts, which is a member of the ABB Group, made the announcement in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, which officially released the information Friday morning.

In addition to the job retention and creation, Thomas & Betts plans to invest $20.7 million in its new facility at 860 Ridge Lake Blvd.

“The total project investment includes the $12.9 million purchase of furniture, fixtures, and computer equipment,” documents included in the application said. “Additionally, the applicant will invest $7.5 million to renovate the 168,578-square-foot Ridge Lake facility.”

The Ridgeway Center office complex is a development of Boyle Investment Co. and the location is where Memphis-based ServiceMaster Global Holdings is leaving for its new corporate headquarters Downtown in the former Peabody Place Mall, which is being converted into Class A office space.  

According to Thomas & Betts’ application, the weighted average base salary for the 598 total employees is $86,788, excluding benefits.

“The expansion PILOT will enable the applicant to consolidate their research and development operations from locations across the United States to the Ridge Lake facility,” the documents went on to say. “Additionally, the PILOT will allow the applicant to consolidate portions of their transportation and logistics operations into Memphis and Shelby County.”

Officials with EDGE estimate that the expansion project will generate $45 million in local tax revenues during the term of the PILOT, which would result in a $3.1 million benefit to Thomas & Betts.

Additionally, Thomas & Betts is required to spend at least $2.3 million with Memphis and Shelby County certified minority and women business enterprises (MWBEs).

Prior to the EDGE documents being released, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development officially made the announcement via email.

“By choosing the city of Memphis as the place it believes it can best grow, Thomas & Betts is adding to the momentum we’re experiencing of late,” Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said in the release. “With strong amenities and a great quality of life, Memphis is a great city for companies looking for a promising future.”

Meanwhile, Sedgwick Claims Management Services announced in February that it was moving into Thomas & Betts’ headquarters at 8155 T&B Blvd. in Southwind, prompting the search for a new location.

Electrical components manufacturer Thomas & Betts was acquired by ABB, a global technology company in power and automation, in 2012. The Memphis-based company now operates as a division of ABB's $10 billion Electrification Products Division.

“Memphis and Thomas & Betts have been partners for over a quarter century,” Franklin Sullivan, lead division manager, United States, ABB Electrification Products Division, said in a release. “We have found it to be a perfect place to do business, with a hard-working, highly educated workforce. We’re pleased to be beginning a new chapter in our history here.”

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