ALCOA (WATE) – Ammunition maker AMI says its plans for a half-billion dollar plant in Blount County are still on track, a year after being announced.
AMI announced in October 2015 it plans to build a global headquarters in Aloca, a project slated to create upwards of 600 jobs. Jim and Jeff Antich, executive chairman and CEO of AMI, are also two officers of Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts, or ATAC – an Arizona company that recently shut down its Payson, Arizona, plant.
A spokesperson says the plant shutdown was temporary and ATAC is back in operation. The spokesperson also said ATAC corporate structure and operations are separate from the one that will be based in East Tennessee.
“We are excited about forward progress to begin an aggressive construction start-up in Blount County, and we are deeply grateful for the continued cooperation of the Blount Partnership as well as local and state officials.
“As with any major project in excess of $300 million in its initial Phase One development, there are many elements to manage on a relatively short timeline. However, we feel confident that AMI is well-poised to stay on track with its agreement with local and state governmental entities in Tennessee.
“AMI is working steadfastly to manage the many complexities of this important project — one which it is fully committed to bringing to Blount County, Tenn., at the level of operation and on the timeline as originally planned.”
The company is facing at least two lawsuits. One, filed by Scottsdale Firearms LLC in U.S. District Court in Arizona, alleges ATAC does not own the trademarks to several brands of ammunition.
Another was filed by an East Tennessee man, former ATAC president Mark Kresser, who was fired in February. He says he was hired to facilitate the expansion in Blount County, but his employer did not have the resources to make the expansion happen.
The company addressed Kresser’s lawsuit in a statement:
Mark Kresser briefly served as president of Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts, LLC (ATAC) in Payson, Ariz. Mr. Kresser never had a role with AMI Investment Holdings, LLC. ATAC’s employment relationship with Mr. Kresser ended early in 2016. The company’s executive team wished Mr. Kresser well in his future endeavors but in past months were surprised to learn of a lawsuit filed by Mr. Kresser against ATAC. As with any personnel issues or pending litigation, ATAC is not at liberty to discuss details of the matter at this time.