MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ford Motor Company and battery maker SKI plan to pump billions of dollars into the Mid-South economy and bring thousands of jobs with its plans for a new electric vehicle and battery manufacturing plant.
That’s going to mean big changes in the small town of Stanton, Tennessee, home to a little over 400 people, and the closest municipality to the Memphis Regional Megasite.
Stanton’s mayor, Dr. Allan Sterbinsky, says the town has been positioning itself to prosper from the development for the past decade.
The mayor said Stanton is close enough you could ride a bike — or a horse — to work at the Ford plant.
‘We’re hoping to reap all the benefits we can, not just for Stanton, but for all of West Tennessee. The flow will go not just to Stanton but to Jackson and Memphis and Covington and Brownsville and all the other places as well. And we’re delighted,” he said.
The challenge will be balancing the town’s “small-town vibe,” which could be attractive to many buyers, with tremendous growth.
Stanton’s downtown area is a historic zone, and will be an “artistic community,” Sterbinsky said. Horses and chickens could be allowed in some areas, gated communities and HOAs in others.
“We already know where we want the subdivisions to go, we know where we want the retail industries to go,” Sterbinsky said.
And judging from the mayor’s spin, there will be a lot of development coming. Sterbinsky compared it to one of the big-box-lined artery roads in Memphis.
“From (Highway) 222 down to the megasite, it’s going to look like Germantown Road in Memphis,” he said.
Gov. Bill Lee, along with officials from Ford, officially announced the massive new industrial development this week.
Ford will invest $5.6 billion in the Haywood County site in rural West Tennessee to build a 3,600-acre campus called Blue Oval City. The manufacturing plant is expected to directly create 5,800 jobs, with thousands more expected, according to state officials.
Production of next generation all-electric F-Series trucks and battery components is expected to begin at the site, about 30 miles northeast of the Memphis city limit, in 2025.
The Greater Memphis Chamber called the project “the largest single investment in Tennessee’s history.”