Gun manufacturer to bring 360-plus jobs to Troy

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Kimber Manufacturing, an upscale firearms manufacturer, is coming to Troy and will bring more than 360 jobs to the community.

The Troy City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement that will bring the firearms company, which will create 366 jobs and invest over $38 million into the local economy over the course of five years.

“It is the realization of a long-term goal for the City of Troy and for me personally to see a firearms manufacturing company with a stellar brand like Kimber creating jobs and investing in the community,” said Mayor Jason Reeves. “Troy has a strong manufacturing base, and Kimber will substantially add to that foundation.”

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Talks with the company began over two years ago as the city worked with Gov. Kay Ivey and other state officials to bring Kimber to Troy.

“With talented Alabamians already manufacturing a wide range of high-quality products that are in demand around the globe, the state can offer Kimber an ideal business environment and a skilled workforce for its expansion project,” Ivey said. “Kimber’s investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs, and we are committed to helping the company find long-lasting success in Alabama.”

The city and state offered Kimber over $24 million in incentives to locate in Troy, which Reeves said is one of the biggest projects the city has undertaken.

The bulk of the incentive is a $16.325 million bond that the city is offering the company through the Industrial Development Board of the City of Troy for the design, renovation and construction of the facility. Reeves said the company would pay that back through a lease with the Industrial Board, but that the amount the company pays back is contingent on job creation and utility usage among other metrics.

“They can do well enough for total forgiveness or poorly enough to not get a dime,” Reeves said. “The terms of the lease are all based on performance.”

Both the city and the state are also offering $4 million each in cash incentives to reimburse certain capital costs, such as the purchase of equipment. Troy will front the company $6 million and pay another $1 million over the span of 10 years while the state will pay the company $1 million upfront and will reimburse the City of Troy $3 million annually over the next three years.

The company’s facility will be built on nearly 75 acres of land in the Industrial Park. The facility will feature a 225,000 square foot building, which will incorporate an existing spec building on the site.

Once a small manufacturing company based in Yonkers, New York, Kimber has grown rapidly over the past 21 years. The new manufacturing facility in Troy will be Kimber’s sixth U.S. location.

“We are pleased with the impressive track record that Alabama has with attracting and retaining world-class manufacturing companies,” said Leslie Edelman, Kimber’s president and chief executive officer. “Growing our company intelligently depends significantly on being in the right manufacturing environment, and in Troy, we have a community dedicated to our long-term success. It has been a pleasurable and fruitful experience working with Mayor Jason Reeves and his team.”

Greg Grogan, Kimber’s chief operating officer, said the company will build a large, automated, state-of- the-art design engineering and manufacturing facility in Troy to support Kimber’s strategic growth plans.

“Troy offers us expansion with a passionate workforce, extraordinarily low utility costs, a pro-business environment, experienced local training support, and long-term incentives from the state and local government alike,” Grogan said. “This expansion in conjunction with our existing manufacturing facilities, talented and experienced employees, and best-in- class products provides for exciting times here at Kimber.”

James Cox, Kimber’s chief financial officer, said an unprecedented growth in demand for Kimber products is driving the company to increase its manufacturing capacity. “As we continue to move into uncharted waters in regards to Kimber product demand, it was important to us to build a facility that will allow us to secure a significant new plateau of capacity,” he said.

Kimber’s new design engineering and manufacturing facility in Troy is expected to be fully operational in early 2019.

“Kimber is a first-class firearms manufacturer with a reputation for precision craftsmanship, dependability and accuracy, which makes it just the kind of high-performance company we want to attract to the state,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “We look forward to Kimber joining the ranks of great manufacturers that are growing and thriving in our state.”