HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Polaris is expanding manufacturing operations to Huntsville that will bring thousands of new jobs to the area. The 600,000 square foot facility will be located west of Greenbrier Road in Limestone County and will focus on off-road vehicle production.
Construction is expected to begin in February with a fully operational campus in 2017.
Friday's announcement will create at least 1,700 "well-paying" jobs in Huntsville, according to Polaris.
Polaris said Huntsville was an ideal choice because of the city's skilled workforce, history of technology and innovation, and local and state support. The Huntsville site will also bring Polaris closer to its key customer base in the Southeast.
Mayor Tommy Battle welcomed Polaris to the community and said the announcement is part of his administration's commitment to provide jobs and diversify the city's employment base.
"It's a strong endorsement for Huntsville to have the state's two largest economic development announcements in the past year," said Battle. "These historic wins validate our competitiveness and promising future as a leading economic driver and destination of choice for successful business."
Battle said Huntsville's skilled workforce will now build all-terrain vehicles for Polaris, which has made it "a whole lot of fun to explore our earth."
"Up to 2,000 new jobs, $142 million capital investment in our community -- our star is shining, our future is bright. I am grateful to this team and our statewide partners who worked tirelessly to bring the Polaris star into our constellation of global businesses," said Battle.
As far as incentives, Polaris will receive $31 million in discretionary incentives from the state to offset a portion of capital expenditures the company will make on its $127 million project in Huntsville. Polaris pledged to create at least 1,700 jobs, with the possibility of 2,000 jobs by 2020. The average wage of those jobs will be $18 an hour.
Alabama Industrial Development Training will provide pre-employment screening and training for Polaris as part of a $20 million incentive. The state is also reserving an incentive of $2.5 million to offset capital costs should the company make investments related to future expansion in Alabama.
Polaris will receive two tax abatements - state and local non-educational sales tax abatements of $2.9 million and noneducational property tax abatements of $6.6 million over 10 years.
It is estimated the Polaris project will generate $206 million for state and local governments in the form of tax revenue over 10 years.