Hamilton County Commission votes to offer land to VW supplier

Hamilton County Commission votes to offer land to VW supplier

July 2nd, 2009 by Matt Wilson in Politics Local


Gestamp, which has its headquarters in Michigan, is a subsidiary of Gestamp Automocion based in Madrid, Spain, which has $6 billion in annual revenues.

Source: Gestamp

Hamilton County commissioners voted 7-0 Wednesday to offer 20 acres -- and maybe more -- at Enterprise South to Volkswagen supplier Gestamp Corp.

"This allows them to get started," County Mayor Claude Ramsey said. "I can tell you, they are actually working the process right now, getting all the permits, and they're ready to go on a short timeline."

Gestamp, which announced last week that it will build a $90 million, 225,000-square-foot plant at Enterprise South, will pay $35,000 for each acre of the property. The company has a three-year option to buy the full 49.7-acre tract.

The city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County jointly own the land at the industrial park.

Gestamp -- which will supply structural components for the new midsized sedan VW plans to build at its nearby plant -- intended to start production early next year so it can meet Volkswagen's schedule. VW plans to start making cars in early 2011.

The fact that Gestamp is buying the property makes it different from VW, which was given 1,340 acres by the city and county.

Also on Wednesday, the commission approved a contract accepting a $681,000 bid for infrastructure improvements to Chattem Inc.'s planned $35.5 million expansion at its Broad Street factory.

Commissioner Richard Casavant thanked Mr. Ramsey and his staff for both economic development initiatives.

"This is emblematic of where you get your new jobs," Dr. Casavant said. "You've got an existing company expanding, a very successful and healthy company that's been here for over a century, and a new company coming to town that's serving another new company."