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3M Co. gets $10.51 million in new city building permits

The 3M plant on J.D. Yarnell Industrial Parkway in Clinton’s Eagle Bend Industrial Park is expanding again. (photo:G. Chambers Williams III )
The 3M Company’s filtration-products division plans to spend a total of just over $10.51 million on two new projects at its plant in the Eagle Bend Industrial Park, according to building permits issued Aug. 16 by the city of Clinton.

One of the permits is listed as a $10 million, 48,000-square-foot “industrial renovation” project for CHIM Filtrete at 400 J.D. Yarnell Industrial Parkway, with The Christman Co. listed as the contractor.

The other permit shows a $513,000, 250-square-foot project at the same address for “CO2 Fire Suppression,” using the same contractor.

Those two are in addition to $16.5 million in expansion projects at the same site that were granted building permits by the city in May and June 2020.

The first of those was issued on March 13, 2020, for $4.5 million for what was described as a “3M Mill Project,” also by The Christman Co. for an “industrial interior renovation.”

That was followed on June 4, 2020, by a $12 million building permit, also for an “industrial interior renovation” by The Christman Co.

All of these projects — totaling $27.1 million — are on the same site that Minnesota-based 3M purchased in December 2014.

No details were immediately available this week for the latest projects, and a telephone message left with Clinton company officials was not returned.

Last year, Andy Wallace, president of the Anderson County Economic Development Association, said the earlier projects were to be part of an expansion to the plant that was expected to add jobs.

“They are in the middle of an expansion,” Wallace said at the time. “We are working with them to help out with some state and local [financial] incentives.”

Wallace said Monday that he had no details yet about the newest projects. The last reported job count at the plant was about 125 employees in late 2019.

3M paid $14.4 million for the 772,000-square-foot building and 160-acre tract formerly used as a Food Lion distribution center in the 2014 transaction, according to news releases at the time, and a story by the Knoxville News Sentinel in 2016.

The company went on to get a total of $120.5 million in building permits for “projects ranging from more than 65,000 square feet of building expansions to renovating the existing building for use as a manufacturing facility,” the News Sentinel wrote.

The News Sentinel said in the June 2016 story that “conversion into a manufacturing facility by one of America’s best-known companies remains a mysterious, low-profile work in progress.”

A news release on 3M’s website about an event at the plant in October 2019 noted:

“The plant’s 125 employees manufacture a range of products, including Filtrete filters and 3M Thinsulate insulation for the automotive industry.

“The growing plant has added 100 employees in the past year alone – a figure noted by local elected officials, members of the Manufacturing Institute -- the education and workforce partner of the National Association of Manufacturing -- and Walmart executives during a visit Oct. 17,” the release said.

The October 2019 event was held “as part of Manufacturing Month,” the company said, adding: “3M’s plant in Clinton, Tennessee, is hosting Walmart and the Manufacturing Institute to celebrate our shared commitment to creating jobs and investing in the diverse, skilled workforce of tomorrow.”

3M Co. was founded in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. It is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota. Today, according to its website, “more than 60,000 3M products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries.”

Probably its most-recognizable brand is Scotch tape.