JEFFERSON CITY — American Outdoor Brands Corp., a company whose portfolio includes Smith and Wesson and Battenfeld Technologies, will break ground on a new distribution center that will potentially create more than 300 jobs in Boone County. 

Gov. Eric Greitens announced the project in a video he made with employees of Battenfeld Technologies during a visit to Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club.

"Missouri has always been a great Second Amendment state, a wonderful state, for people who love firearms and treasure their Second Amendment rights," Greitens said in the video, which he posted on his Facebook page.

The company will break ground on a 500,000-square-foot center within the next few months, according to the governor's office.

American Outdoor Brands acquired Columbia-based Battenfeld Technologies in 2014 and is planning to build a larger building to accommodate the 100 employees who now work at its facility on Lemone Industrial Boulevard and to accommodate expansion, according to the governor's office. The facility will be built on 189 acres off Route Z just north of Interstate 70.

The company is seeking state and local tax credits to help finance the project. On Tuesday, it presented an application for $1.5 million in Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale Development, or BUILD, incentives to the Missouri Development Finance Board for a more than 550,000-square-foot facility. The land is owned by Green Acres, LLC, and American Outdoor Brands plans to buy it for $3.1 million.

The new distribution center would bring 154 jobs in the first three years and a total of 328 new jobs. The projected average annual wage for employees at the new facility is $46,786, or $22.50 per hour. The Boone County annual average salary is $36,225.

The company's total annual payroll when the first 154 jobs are filled would be more than $7 million.

Building the warehouse and accompanying office structure will cost an estimated $55 million. The company will also be seeking an additional $1.6 million in federal Community Development Block Grant money as well as Chapter 100 property and sales tax abatements from Boone County worth about $5 million.

Missouri competed with Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi for the distribution facility, and the BUILD bonds were a significant factor in bringing it to Boone County, according to the BUILD bond application. The bonds were approved Tuesday by the finance board.

Construction is expected to begin in April and finish by the end of 2018, according to the finance board report. It estimates a $10.7 million economic impact to the state over 15 years.

The company will present its Chapter 100 application to representatives of five taxing districts at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center, 801 E. Walnut St.

  • State government reporter for fall 2016. Print and digital investigative reporting major. Follow me on Twitter at @_lucysherman.

  • Tyler is a State Government Reporter at the Columbia Missourian. Contact him at tylerwornell@mail.missouri.edu or 816-830-3474

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