UPDATE, Thursday, Oct. 19: An Arizona-based ammunition company with plans to build a new headquarters and manufacturing plant in East Tennessee has missed its deadline to begin construction in Blount County.
Advanced Munitions International had until Oct. 19, 2017, to break ground, according to the Blount Partnership. In October 2015, AMI announced plans to invest $553 million in the new headquarters in Alcoa and said the project would create more than 600 new jobs.
On Thursday, the Blount Partnership said AMI did not fulfill its terms of the contract with the Industrial Development Board of Blount County and the cites of Maryville and Alcoa.
"They had two years until today to begin construction. To this day they have not done that. So, as a result, we're moving forward, looking at some other industrial manufacturers and developers for that site," Blount Partnership spokesperson Jeff Muir said Thursday.
AMI had been promised roughly $6 million in state grants for the new development, and received a tract of land from the Blount Partnership for $1.
"The contract with AMI has not been executed, and the state of Tennessee has expended zero dollars of the grant to the company," Jennifer McEachern, spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said in an email to 10News.
Muir said the deed to the land was returned to the Blount Partnership in March. At the time, though, AMI still insisted it was not giving up on plans to build the plant.
"It's disappointing that it didn't come through," Muir said. "On the bright side, we're looking at a couple of other companies that want to move into this site pretty quickly."
The Blount Partnership said AMI still has the opportunity to prove it has the resources to build its complex, but Muir said they don't really know if AMI is still interested. After a couple years of close contact, the company is now mum.
"That's a question you'd have to ask AMI as to why they couldn't fulfill the outline of the contract," Muir said.
WBIR was also unable to get any response from AMI on why there has been no progress, and what its plans are now that the original deal has expired.
ORIGINAL STORY: Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017
Two years after announcing plans to build a new headquarters and manufacturing plant in East Tennessee, an Arizona-based ammunition company deadline is running up on its deadline to break ground on the new Blount County site.
Advanced Munitions International announced plans to build a $553 million headquarters in Alcoa in October 2015. The company said the project would create more than 600 new jobs.
The project received praise from state and local economic development leaders, and commitments of millions of dollars in tax and construction incentives.
As of Wednesday, though, the company had yet to break ground on the new site.
The Blount Partnership said AMI was given a two-year deadline to begin construction, which runs out on Thursday, Oct. 19.
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Last week, Jeff Muir, a spokesman for the Blount Partnership, told 10News the ammo company was seeking an extension to the construction deadline, and the Industrial Development Board of Blount County was considering the request.
"The IDB is committed to working with AMI to get this project started," he said.
PREVIOUS 4/5/17: Despite setbacks, leaders confident in $553M ammo facility
On Wednesday, Muir said construction still had not started.
Muir said the Blount Partnership planned to release a statement about the AMI development on Thursday.