COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty along with local and regional economic development officials gathered today in Cookeville’s Dogwood Park to announce Academy Sports + Outdoors will build a new 1.6 million square foot distribution center in Cookeville to support company growth. The sports, outdoors and lifestyle brand will invest $100 million and create 700 full-time equivalent jobs in Putnam County over the next five years.
Spanning 257.38 total acres, the center will be the largest distribution facility in Tennessee under one roof.
Almost a year since initial contact, local, state and regional partners have been continuously working as a team to accommodate the needs of the company in order to achieve a success of this magnitude.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the cooperation shown by all the parties that had a hand in this,” City of Cookeville Economic Development Coordinator Melinda Keifer said. “The partnership shown from all involved is the reason that we can proudly welcome Academy to our community.”
Academy Sports + Outdoors will begin construction on its facility this month and plans to become operational in early 2016. Hiring will begin in late 2015, company officials said. The site, located south of Old Stewart Road, runs along Interstate 40 on the western side of Cookeville. It will be the company’s third distribution center.
The announcement is the biggest economic development announcement in the Highlands region to date. The initiative was launched in 2006. With a commuting regional workforce, the bonus won’t be centralized to Putnam County alone.
“The momentum that this gives our region is huge. This distribution center will go beyond employment in just Putnam County, but also will affect our Highlands partners as well,” Jonathan West, Highlands Economic Partnership chairman said.
The company currently operates nine stores in Tennessee with a 10th store planned to open this fall in Memphis. The company, headquartered in Katy, Texas, has a distribution center there as well as a second facility in Jeffersonville, Georgia.
“The location of a company of this stature is a game changer for our community and the entire region,” said Chuck Sparks, Cookeville-Putnam County Chamber of Commerce board chairman.