The Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority unanimously approved a bond resolution Tuesday that would allocate about $550 million to Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. as it gears up for another major expansion.
"Several years back, we did a roughly $880 million bond issue for Toyo for their expansions that have been occurring," said Authority legal counsel Keith Lovell. "They have spent roughly $500 million on that bond issue and have decided to refinance the remaining $300 million of that and they want to tie that into another expansion that they have, which is planned at $150 million, I believe, and they'll be bringing in around 150 new jobs."
Toyo's planned 254,000-square-foot expansion would have an annual production capacity of about 2.4 million tires and result in an investment of "more than $138 million" in Cartersville.
In a press release statement, representatives from Toyo said they expect the completed expansion to increase the number of Georgians employed by the company to 2,100, with combined wages and benefits totaling about $135 million.
"As Toyo has done in the past, they always like some additional cushion on their bond issues because they have, at least, for every project they've ever done here, exceeded whatever their expectations are," Lovell said. "So they're actually going to ask us for a $250 million cap on this particular phase. So this total bond issue will be $550 million — $300 million of it is previously allocated funds and the $150 million is for their new project, I believe, and then $100 million is for other possible future expansions."
Toyo's facility in White began production in 2005. Their roughly 150-acre site has seen five major expansions to date.
"Bartow County was fortunate to be selected as Toyo Tires' home years ago and we are honored each time they choose to invest again," said Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor. "We strive for long-term partnerships with our industries and this partnership has been incredibly successful."
Governor Nathan Deal also weighed in on the company's expansion plans in a press release statement.
"Toyo Tires is a valued remember of Georgia's family of innovative automotive manufacturers and suppliers, and it's clear that the company's leadership recognizes the benefits of of operating in a competitive economic environment," he is quoted. "By choosing Cartersville over international competition, Toyo Tires will continue to hire from Georgia's talented workforce and utilize our highly connected transportation infrastructure to reach its growing customer base."
Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing, Inc. President Don Bunn said the level of cooperation from both the State of Georgia and Bartow County officials over the last few years continues to exceed the company's expectations.
"Toyo Tires is proud to be a member of the Georgia business community and strives to show its appreciation by being a great place to work and by supporting community organizations throughout the state," he said.
Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said the company's investments in the community over the last 13 years have been substantial.
"Toyo's partnership with our community has been such a gift that impacts families of their employees and contractors, local suppliers, utility providers, education partners and many others," she said.
Lovell said he expects the fee structures to remain the same for the Authority and other parties involved as the expansion project moves forward. He also said he expects Toyo's next phase of expansion to receive "the same abatements they've always been given on their projects."
Lovell said a hearing on the bond issue is scheduled Dec. 12. He said he anticipates Toyo closing the deal approximately a week before Christmas.
"We do not know how much their first initial draw request will be on the bond issue," he said. "They will be letting us know that in the next week or two."