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Year in Review: Under Armour leads business boom

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Wilson County Economic Director G.C. Hixson said Wilson County's "biggest" feather in its cap was the opening of Under Armour in Mt. Juliet. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam gave Under Armour executives a "huge thank you" and said the addition of the one-million-square-foot distribution and warehouse facility will provide a huge "economic and social impact to Tennessee.

Under Armour, located at 13 Athletes Way in Mt. Juliet, already employs 300 people and will create 1,500 new jobs over the next five years. UA Executive Vice President of Global Operations Jim Hardy hinted they will open another such facility on the property in the future.

Another coup for west Wilson County is FedEx's announcement that in April 2016 their new 300,000-square-foot distribution facility on Beckwith Road off I- 40 in Mt. Juliet will be completed. The new hub will bring more than 350 jobs to Wilson County, most part-time.

DE-STA-CO announced they will establish new operations in Mt. Juliet in the former Campbell Hausfeld building on Mundy Memorial Parkway. The company specializes in the innovation, design and manufacturing of clamping and robotic tooling solutions for work holding and automation needs. This presence in Mt. Juliet will consolidate several operations and create 245 new jobs.

Dubbed "Project Sprinkles," in initial stages, Maplehurst Bakeries will open first quarter 2016 in Lebanon. A division of Weston Foods, in June 2015 officials announced the company will invest $102.8 million to build and equip a new 173,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Lebanon. It will be located at Central Pike and I-840 and create 147 new jobs in Wilson County.

Hixson confirmed Wilson County is still in talks with a broker for Nissan. Nissan, the Japanese-based automaker, already has a facility near State Route 840 and Central Pike. Hixson said they want to build an aftermarket facility in the general area, but have changed plans from a 500,000-square-foot facility to much larger. He said he hopes there will be a decision this spring.

Tri-Star Summit free-standing ER

On the healthcare front, the end of 2015 saw an approval for TriStar Summit Medical Center to build a free-standing ER at the intersection of Beckwith Road and Interstate 40.

The 24/7, 8,900-square-foot facility will be operational the first quarter of 2017 and will have eight emergency treatment rooms and a pediatric-friendly environment.

Minter takes over Lebanon Chamber

Melanie Minter was named Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce president and CEO in January 2015. Being named CEO this year has been an honor for Minter. "I love working in the community, but I am even more excited about being directly involved in the operation, development and growth of Lebanon and Wilson County," she said.

She follows 23-year Lebanon Chamber President Susan Vanatta.

Five Oaks apartments get approval

Though there were protests, year end 2015 saw the approval of Five Oaks Apartments in Lebanon. Residents opposed the 300-unit facility on Five Oaks property. Developers agreed to make a second entrance/exit directly onto Highway 70 (Lebanon Road).

Hotels, retail boom in MJ

Hotels abound in West Wilson and Courtyards of Marriott will soon join the legions. National hotel chain Marriott has will soon open a five-story, 100-room hotel at the west end of Providence Parkway.

The new courtyard-style hotel and convention center will also feature about 3,000 square feet of meeting space. There will also be a fitness center and pool as well as a bar and lounge.

North Mt. Juliet this spring will see its first Starbucks located in front of Publix on Lebanon Road. It's under construction and will have easy access and exit. Alongside Starbucks in north Mt. Juliet will be a White Castle, set to open early summer. Also planned for north Mt. Juliet are Piranhas Restaurant, Sports Clips and Bowers Steakhouse.

Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

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#wcbusiness, #wcdevelopment, apartments, Courtyards at Marriott, DE-STA-CO, FedEx, Five Oaks, Five Oaks Golf & Country Club, free-standing ER, G.C. Hixson, growth, hotel, Lebanon Wilson Chamber of Commerce, Maplehurst Bakeries, Marriott, Melanie Minter, Nissan, Project Sprinkles, Starbucks, TriStar Summit, Under Armour
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