Kimberly-Clark will stay in Knoxville after the city council voted Tuesday night to give the company a tax incentive.
The Fortune 500 company will only have to pay the city and Knox County $200,000, over 5 years, in lieu of taxes on personal property thanks to the city council vote.
Kimberly-Clark, which currently has offices in a high-rise tower in downtown Knoxville, wants to move from that site. According to Bill Lyons, deputy to Mayor Madeline Rogero, the health care products company desires a move for numerous reasons.
He said the company did not have enough people to fill its office tower and it also needed more parking space.
"They were clear that downtown wasn't the environment in this setting that worked well for them," he said.
The city and Knoxville Chamber had been in discussions with Kimberly-Clark for several months to keep the company in Knoxville. A representative from Kimberly-Clark told 10News the incentive helped it decided to stay. The company said it is now in negotiations to lease the old Goody's headquarters in West Knoxville.
Kimberly Clark said it would like to have negotiations done by the end of the month and then move its 333 full-time employees to the facility by next summer. It expects to invest more than $4.5 million on new equipment, purchases that will not be taxed as a result of Tuesday's council agreement.
The Knoxville Chamber said the deal is a big one for East Tennessee. Chamber Executive Vice-President Rhonda Rice said the company has an economic impact of over $60 million in the region.
"There are other communities who if they had the opportunity to lure a corporate name with 300 high salary positions to the region, they would be doing everything possible," said Rice, when asked about the importance of giving Kimberly-Clark an incentive.
According to the city, this is not the first time Knoxville has agreed to such a deal. Lyons said the city offered similar incentives to the Knoxville News-Sentinel when it moved its offices out of downtown.