May 18, 2016

The Tennessean
by Melanie Balakit

Williamson County officials hope a tax incentive will draw an international company to Cool Springs.

Schneider Electric USA, Inc., a French energy management and automation company, could offer more than 1,000 jobs in the county.

The company is eyeing Two Franklin Park, a new office building slated to open in Cool Springs next March, according to Williamson County’s tax incentive resolution. Schneider Electric may occupy 150,000 to 180,000 square feet of office space at the building.

The move to Cool Springs would relocate about 890 full-time jobs and create about 250 full-time jobs over the company’s first five years of occupancy. The average wage for the 1,140 jobs is estimated at $73,000 with health care benefits.

“We are in the process of exploring facility options around Nashville,” said Mark Elliott, director of media relations for Schneider Electric. “I would say at this point, we’ll communicate when we have more information to share about exactly what’s going to happen.”

Schneider Electric already has local operations in the greater Nashville area, including equipment manufacturer Square D. The company has nearly 1,500 Nashville-area employees, including at 1010 Airpark Center Drive in Nashville, two locations in La Vergne and another in Smyrna.

“We’re very excited about the next steps for this company, and we’re very pleased we’re still in the running for them to relocate their respective business to the Cool Springs area,” said Williamson County Mayor Rogers Anderson.

The county’s tax study committee approved a tax increment incentive program, likened to a rebate program on property taxes, Tuesday night.

Under a tax increment incentive program, companies pay the normal amount of property taxes but later receive some money back. The “rebate” is a portion of the tax increment.

The county expects to retain all of the base tax amount and 58 percent of the tax increment; the 58 percent tax increment will help pay for the cost of schools. The county also expects the company to have a minimum 912 jobs a year, Anderson said.

The full county commission will vote on the tax incentive in June.