Huntsville Signs Toyota-Mazda Development Agreement
January 17, 2018
With the stroke of a pen, Mayor Tommy Battle and members of Huntsville’s economic development team gathered in City Hall today to sign a development agreement that contractually “seals the deal” for Toyota-Mazda’s $1.6 billion manufacturing plant to be built on the City’s megasite.
Execution of the agreement with the global automotive giants requires approval by City Council, which occurred last Thursday night, and final signatures from Mayor Battle, Limestone County Commission Chair Mark Yarbrough, chair of the Industrial Development Board of Huntsville, Hundley Batts, and City Council President Mark Russell.
“This is a generational project and the team in this room made it happen,” said Mayor Battle. “Vision, planning, and perseverance paid off. The best part of signing this contract is that it’s just the beginning.”
Chairman Yarbrough agreed. “There’s been a sense of euphoria in the state about this project, but now it’s time to roll up sleeves and get to work,” said Yarbrough. “We have roads and rail lines to build, sites to prep and work to do. We have the best workforce in America and they are ready to go.”
Mayor Battle applauded regional partners and City Council, and he recognized the hard work of Chamber CEO Chip Cherry and Lucia Cape, Urban Development Director Shane Davis, City Attorney Trey Riley and Deputy Attorney Cissy Cates, and Finance Director Peggy Sergeant.
The Toyota-Mazda plant is expected to provide a $5.6 billion return on investment in the next 20 years. In turn, the City of Huntsville will offer incentives and abatements valued at $320 million.
The agreement includes about $80 million in hard costs for the City. This will be used, in part, to acquire land and build a rail spur to connect to Norfolk Southern. $107 million will be spent on infrastructure improvements (roads/sewer) already budgeted in the 10-year capital plan. These projects will be accelerated to meet Toyota-Mazda’s timeline for opening in 2021. The bulk of the remaining costs are considered “indirect” and include waiving fees and permits, inspections support, and non-educational tax abatements.
• 2,400 acres in Huntsville-Limestone County
• Site is 14 miles from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama’s engine assembly plant
• Up to 4,000 jobs
• $1.6 billion Toyota-Mazda investment
• $50,000 average salary (exclusive of benefits)
• $200+ million annual payroll
• Capacity to produce 300,000 cars annually
• Dual assembly lines to produce Corollas and Mazda crossover
• Operations expected to begin in 2021