City Welcomes Brown Precision

Brown Precision’s expanding to Atmore has be the subject of speculation for weeks, but the official announcement was made last week. It’s an announcement that puts Atmore in the catbird seat- both for jobs and potential industry growth in the future.

Back-to-back special called meetings were held Thursday, August 4, to pave the way for Atmore’s newest corporate citizen- Brown Precision Inc., and its affiliate, Brown Precision South Alabama LLC. The company is expanding its Huntsville-based company with a new facility in Atmore’s Rivercane Industrial Park. This means new industry for Atmore- new industry with 100 high-tech, high-paying jobs.

The Atmore Industrial Development Board held the first called meeting Thursday to take care of two resolutions. The first was to name Jim Johnson as acting chairman. The second resolution was to authorize and execute a contract entitled Project Agreement by and among Brown Precision South Alabama LLC, the City of Atmore, the Industrial Development Board, the Atmore Chamber of Commerce, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and the Coastal Gateway Regional Economic Development Alliance.

As soon as the IDB adjourned, the Atmore City Council convened in called session to consider two resolutions. The first was to approve the Project Agreement. The second was to approve a tax abatement agreement.

The abatement agreement between the City of Atmore and Brown Precision South Alabama LLC includes the following:
  • tax abatement of non-educational property taxes for a period of 10 years for taxes levied by the State of Alabama and/or Escambia County.
  • tax abatement of non-educational property taxes for a period of 20 years for taxes levied by the City of Atmore.
  • tax abatement of non-educational construction-related (sales or use) transaction taxes.
  • mortgage and recording taxes.

“This is an important day for Atmore, our citizens and our business community,” Staff said. “We are thrilled to have Brown Precision come to south Alabama and select Atmore for the site of its expansion. We welcome them with open arms and are excited to have them as a the first industrial tenant in the Rivercane complex.”

Brown Precision has more than 40 years of experience in precision machining, focusing on the aerospace and medical industries. The family-owned company manufactures high-quality, complex components both large and small, from helicopter and aircraft components to artificial human joints. The company’s clients include GKN Aerospace, Bell, PPG Aerospace, Smith & Nephew and GE Aviation.

The Atmore facility is expected to eventually employ more than 100 workers in jobs ranging from CNC-based manufacturing to custom fabrication to sealing and coating of components. Brown Precision expects to make an initial investment of at least $7 million in its facility, with further capital investment in equipment and the potential for expansion planned for the near future.

Brown Precision is co-owned and co-managed by brothers, Dan Brown, who serves as Co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer and a mechanical engineer, and Greg Brown, who serves as Co-CEO and Chief Financial Officer. Dan Brown plans to move to the Atmore area with his family to personally oversee local operations.

“We think the Atmore area is a great fit for what we do at Brown Precision Inc., and we look forward to being a part of the community,” Dan Brown said. “We believe southwest Alabama and the Coastal Gateway region is positioned extremely well as a point of growth for the aerospace industry, and we wanted to be on the leading edge of that. We look forward to putting down roots that will hold for many years to come.

“Brown Precision is excited to be a part of the growing aerospace market in southwest Alabama, and for the partnerships we’ve already formed in the area,” said Greg Brown. “Tim Martin of Creek Indian Enterprises has been a great advocate for Atmore and we look forward to partnering with Muskogee Technology in may joint efforts going forward. We also want to thank Atmore Mayor Jim Staff for his commitment to the project, to Governor Bentley and the Alabama Department of Commerce for their commitment to help Alabama businesses grow, and to Coastal Gateway EDA for introducing us to the cities and counties of this area and making us feel at home.”

Brown Precision has been one of Huntsville’s most respected corporate citizens for decades, and the company places an emphasis on partnerships with local schools and community colleges. Company officials say they anticipate playing a similar role in southwest Alabama. Brown Precision will locate at the southwestern corner of the Rivercane Industrial Park, which is situated at the intersection of Alabama Highway 21 and Interstate 65. The company’s facilities will be visible to traffic traveling along the interstate. A new access road for the park will be built in the coming months, and will intersect with Alabama Highway 21 in front of Jefferson Davis Community College.

State officials voiced their approval on the project, which they said would be transformative for the area.

“Aerospace is Alabama’s second fastest growing industry sector and a key target in the Accelerate Alabama economic development strategy,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “I’m committed to helping companies like Brown Precision expand in Alabama and strengthen their aerospace business. Rural communities are important to me and I am honored to know the hard working men and women in Atmore will soon have an opportunity to compete for more than 100 skilled well-paying job.”

“Brown Precision is a great addition to Southwest Alabama’s growing aerospace cluster, which is poised to become a key region in this global industry over the next decade.” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Brown Precision counts many of the industry’s biggest names as clients, so its expansion to Atmore says a lot about the region’s potential.”

Coastal Gateway EDA, which served as the project manager, also assisted the city with acquisition of grant funds to mitigate the city’s expense in developing the park. Coastal Gateway Executive Director John Johnson said the impact of the project will go well beyond the Brown Precision facility.

“We believe our region is going to benefit greatly over the years from the presence of Airbus and the expansion of the aerospace industry in general,” Johnson said. “Adding Brown Precision to existing local aerospace companies, such as Muskogee Technology, and connecting with our local community colleges and training programs, serves notice that the Coastal region is not only ready to expand our aerospace sector, but has also proven capable of doing so.”

To develop the park, the city of Atmore received commitments of funding from the Alabama Department of Transportation, ADECA and the Delta Regional Authority, in addition to using its own funds. The company’s financial partners for the project include United Bank, The Valued Advisor Fund and U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation, a subsidiary of U.S. Bank. Other partners who provided assistance or who otherwise worked on the project included the Alabama Department of Commerce, Gov. Robert Bentley, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and Creek Indian Enterprises, the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission, Galloway Wettermark Everest & Rutens LLP, Civil Southeast Engineering, the Escambia County Commission, Southern Pine Electric Co-op, AIDT, the Atmore Industrial Development Board, the West Escambia Utilities Board, the Escambia County Industrial Development Board, JDCC and Southern Light Fiber.

Mayor Staff thanked the many partners who helped bring the project to fruition, noting that the entire Rivercane Industrial Park will benefit from the efforts.

“Atmore now has more than 200 acres of prime industrial park property along the interstate that will have an access road, utilities, and community college offering technical training programs literally across the street,” Mayor Staff said. “I can’t think of a better place in Alabama to be, and I can’t think of a better company than Brown Precision to bring to Atmore.”