Remington Outdoor Co., previously known as the Freedom Group, expects to announce a major expansion to a new facility in Huntsville, Ala., as early as next week. According to two sources with knowledge of the property sale, the deal has been in the works for months and ROC executives plan to sign the papers Monday finalizing the sale of a 500,000-square-foot facility that will add approximately 25 percent more space to Remington’s existing 2.1 million square feet of existing manufacturing real estate.
Sources say the expansion was undertaken to help the company meet unprecedented demand for its products. Space in the facility is not currently earmarked for any one of the company’s 18 individual brands, but to facilitate flexibility and growth of the Remington Outdoor Company.
Before settling on Hunstville, the company was courted by no less than 24 states and various localities hoping to add hundreds, if not thousands of new jobs to their economies. State and local entities in Alabama made economic concessions to attract the company, sources say. The selection of the Huntsville area makes sense, with a skilled and technical workforce already in place. The area is home to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, which has 35,000 military and civilian employees.
Other major technical employers in the area, such as NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and Toyota, ensure ROC will have a large pool of talent to draw upon for its engineering, technical manufacturing and product development efforts. The fact that Alabama is regarded as a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights also played a role in the selection of the area.
The facility will be set up for new product development and manufacturing, but it reportedly contains spaces suitable for offices, an auditorium and classrooms that will be used for training and development purposes in ROC’s commercial, military and law enforcement businesses. The site requires significant build-outs, code upgrades and other preparatory work, so the company expects production at the site will not begin before 2015.
The site will rank with ROC’s largest facilities. Ilion, N.Y., is home to the largest facility at more than 1 million square feet, followed by other sites such as its ammunition plant in Lonoke, Ark., and its factory in Mayfield, Ky.
Sources say manufacturing operations in Ilion will not be affected by the expansion and there are no plans to move manufacturing from that site, where Remington has been building firearms for nearly 200 years.