Baxter and Portobello officials signed a PILOT agreement during the Cookeville Industrial Development Board meeting Thursday.
Baxter Mayor John Martin said the next step is for Portobello finish purchasing property for its new American headquarters.
“They were waiting for closing on it, and I told them they need to get the closing as soon as possible,” Martin said. “We’ve got to set two meetings – a first reading, a second reading, and public hearing – on the finalization of it. So they’re going to expedite that and that should finalize everything for Portobello.”
The public meetings will allow Baxter City Council to annex one piece of land while rezoning another so that Portobello can begin construction.
Martin thanked the IDB and their attorney David Ledbetter for helping the city get through a challenging negotiation process.
“I’m glad it’s just about closed,” Martin said. “I know the attorney for Portobello made the statement in our meeting that it was a really tough negotiation on both sides, and I think both sides came out exactly the way it should be.”
Martin said he will likely call special meetings to annex and rezone properties in the coming weeks where Portobello plans to build.
The Brazilian ceramic tile company announced last December that it would make a $150 million private investment to open its U.S. headquarters in Baxter. At the time, the company stated the corporate office, manufacturing, and warehouse buildings would create approximately 220 new jobs.