- Associated Press - Thursday, October 2, 2014

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (AP) - Athletic apparel maker Under Armour on Thursday announced plans to build a new $100 million distribution center in Tennessee that is projected to create 1,500 new jobs in the next five years.

Kip Fulks, the company’s chief operating officer and president of product, said Under Armour has already negotiated second rights to double the space by another million square feet in the future.

“We’re a growth company, so we expect full-heartedly to expand,” he said.

State officials including Gov. Bill Haslam and fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Diane Black were clad in Under Armour gear at the announcement in the Nashville suburb of Mt. Juliet.

“It’s a competitive world, and one of the things we like about these guys is that they’re competitors as well,” Haslam said. “They’re aggressive folks who we think are going to grow.”

The new facility scheduled to open at the start of 2016 will become Under Armour’s third. The others are located in Rialto, California, and near the company’s headquarters in Baltimore.

Fulks did not elaborate on salaries for the new jobs, but he said they will include positions in engineering, logistics, transportation and services such as preparing products for large customers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty declined to specify the level of state incentives offered to Under Armour, saying they would be made public at the State Funding Board meeting next week.

Hagerty hailed Under Armour’s selection of the Mt. Juliet site even though its up-front costs were the most expensive among those under the company’s consideration.

“Probably the most important factor with Under Armour is a long-term perspective,” Hargerty said. “They’re willing to look at the long-term cost of operating a business.”

Fulks said the decision to go with Mt. Juliet was in keeping with the company’s brand emphasizing a “premium experience.”

“Cost is not everything,” Fulks said. “We are not always looking for the cheapest site; we’re looking for the most well-rounded.”

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