southeast development

Times-Free Press: Lease set for site in Dunlap

Ben Benton

December 3, 2011

Mann+Hummel USA, the new automotive parts maker coming to Dunlap, Tenn., will likely sign a lease in the next few days for the former Seymour Tubing property on the north end of Dunlap, according to the town’s mayor, Dwain Land.

“We have a tentative date to sign the lease in about a week,” an exuberant Land said Friday. The lease term is expected to be about 10 years, he said.

The Industrial Development Board of Dunlap approved the lease agreement with Mann+Hummel in November and plans to issue $3.1 million in bonds to fund the development board’s purchase of the old Seymour Tubing property. The board will lease the 170,000-square-foot facility to Mann+Hummel, which is expected to create 150 jobs.

Land praised joint efforts by government officials in recruiting the company.

“I’ve never seen a county and city work so well together,” he said.

Seymour closed in the summer of 2009, placing the blame on the decline of the auto industry. Operations at the Dunlap plant, which produced automotive tubing and other auto-related parts, were moved to Indiana.

The $25 million plant was built in 2000. Its shutdown two years ago idled 86 workers, and came on the heels of the shutdown of Dunlap’s other large employer, Tucumseh Power, which closed a few months earlier.

Mann+Hummel, which will produce air intake manifolds and air cleaner systems in Dunlap, will have to do retrofitting and refurbishing at the former Seymour plant to get it ready for the new company’s operation, said David Gordon, Mann+Hummel’s strategic planning officer.

Gordon said Friday that bids for the work could go out as soon as January.

“We feel everything’s on track and we’re moving forward,” he said.

Mann+Hummel already delivers some of its products to Volkswagen in Chattanooga, as well as Nissan in Decherd and GM in Spring Hill, Gordon said. VW is Mann+Hummel’s largest customer worldwide.

“It’s clear why that will be a strategic location for us,” he said.

Dunlap-based Citizens Tri-County Bank provided financing for the development board’s purchase of the industrial property Mann+Hummel will call home, according to CEO and President Glen Barker.

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