By John M. Willis, Rome News-Tribune Business EditoRn T.Com
Dec 20, 2000 | 225 views | 0 | 5 | |
Rome could be the site of Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli's North American headquarters, a research and development facility and a tire manufacturing plant if the company accepts an incentive package approved Tuesday by development officials. The Milan, Italy-based company is planning a $140 million facility that would employ 300 people — 250 production workers and 50 corporate personnel — after three years, said Mike Mullis, a consultant working with Pirelli to locate the state-of-the-art facility. The company would build a 400,000-square-foot facility in the Floyd County Industrial Park if the project moves forward, Mullis said. The Development Authority of Floyd County approved a resolution that would deed 127 acres at the northern end of the industrial park to the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority, which agreed in turn to lease the facility to Pirelli. The Rome-Floyd authority also approved a 13-year, 100 percent abatement of city and county property taxes and agreed to issue as much as $141 million in industrial development bonds. Although a story in the Rome News-Tribune on Tuesday indicated otherwise, Pirelli has not definitely picked Rome, and other locations are under consideration. Mullis, chief executive officer of J.M. Mullis Inc., a consulting firm that works with some of the top multi-national companies in the world, said Pirelli officials will make a final decision by the middle of January. He said Pirelli will continue to evaluate the inducements that have been made by Rome and Floyd County and other communities. "The actions taken today will be important in the final decision," Mullis said. "A great deal of evaluation remains to be done." He would not identify other communities still in the running for the project. "For the past several months, we have been evaluating 50 locations for this project and have spent significant time in Rome and Floyd County," Mullis said, adding Rome has been under consideration for the project — initially identified only as "Project Roll" — since May.
He said the Pirelli project would involve a modular integrated robotized system of tire manufacturing that "has never before been seen in the United States.