Nippon Paint: Brownfield Redevelopment made Possible by Community Partnerships
Automotive Paint Manufacturing
Then mayor, Andy Berke said, “East Chattanooga is rising. We’re going to use economic development to drive community development in a way that will benefit everyone.”
East Chattanooga historically has not received the same investment as other neighborhoods in the region. As a result, the average annual income of East Chattanooga’s 1,634 residents is $25,000 per year with a high unemployment rate. The neighborhood lacked accessibility to high paying jobs with training opportunities.
To encourage economic growth in this disadvantaged community, the City of Chattanooga purchased the former Harriet Tubman housing development after it was shuttered in 2014, then held conversations with neighborhood residents to identify needs. Lack of accessible jobs was identified as a specific pain point for the neighborhood by community leaders. The City worked together with the needs of East Chattanooga in mind to develop the former housing site and used Tax Increment Financing to stimulate the economy in the nearby neighborhoods.
As a result of this unique partnership, Nippon Paint (USA) INC. (Nippon Paint) announced its decision to locate on the former housing development. This project will bring $60 million in investment and 150 new jobs and training opportunities into East Chattanooga. These jobs will increase investment in the community by providing access to high paying jobs that those in the neighborhood can access.
Charles Wood, vice president of economic development for the Greater Chattanooga Economic Partnership who helped negotiated the deal with Nippon, said the project "is part of an overall strategy to locate jobs and investment in areas that have traditionally seen disinvestment. Our hope with this project is that the community will be able to leverage it for additional investment and community development in East Chattanooga.”
A wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan-based Nippon Paint Holdings Co., Ltd., the world’s fourth largest paint and coatings manufacturer, Nippon Paint (USA) Inc. and its subsidiaries manufacture and distribute paints and coatings for the architectural, automotive and industrial coatings markets.
The company will construct a 270,000-square-foot facility in Chattanooga that is expected to leverage some of the most advanced technologies available to optimize productivity and sustainability. Nippon Paint (USA)’s new Tennessee plant will produce automotive E-Coat and topcoat. The facility will be the first of Nippon Paint’s U.S. plants to manufacturer E-Coat for its customers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.