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Economic Development News

Posted on: October 4, 2023

Tullahoma Economic Development Earns Awards of Excellence

Beverly Lee Receives Awards from IEDC Leadership

Contact: Winston Brooks October 5, 2023


Trifecta: Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation (TAEDC) Receives Three Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council


Tullahoma, TN– TAEDC received Gold, Silver and Bronze Excellence in Economic Development awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in September. On behalf of TAEDC, the awards were accepted by board member Beverly Lee, Colonel, USAF (Ret) at the IEDC 2023 Annual Conference during the inaugural President’s Recognition Night event in Dallas, TX, September 19.

The Gold award was for the Economic Equity and Inclusion program that approved the tax credit for redevelopment of an aging low-income housing property, dramatically improving the living conditions, as well as adding a playground and small dog play area in the 85-unit complex. A 13-year resident reported, “I praise God and am so very thankful for all the renovations, new management, cleanliness, and for the people responsible for creating an environment where I am so very proud to live. Please thank everyone for doing their part to make me such a happy woman.”

The Silver award was for Innovation Programs and Initiatives with the city of Tullahoma earning the “Great American Defense Community” by the Association of Defense Communities. TAEDC expects the designation to help recruit and grow the area’s aerospace and defense sector. It also recognizes the outstanding community support for the military, veterans and aerospace heritage of the region as well as the innovations and work at Arnold Engineering Development Complex in support of the National Defense Strategy.

The Bronze award was for TAEDC issuing a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) plan for the redevelopment of the Northgate Mall. Since 2020, the city has welcomed over 20 new retailers to the North Jackson Corridor, to include Publix, Marshalls, Old Navy, Ulta, to Five And Below, and Hobby Lobby. Retail sales have grown significantly with Tullahoma becoming an important retail destination hub and improving the quality of life for residents throughout the region.

“TAEDC has raised the bar for excellence in economic development with its Tullahoma Village Apartment Homes Redevelopment, Great American Defense Community designation, and Northgate Mall Redevelopment projects. This award is a testament to TAEDC’s dedication to its residents and serves as a great example of how economic development can help transform a community for the better,” said Nathan Ohle, IEDC President and CEO. “It is IEDC’s honor and privilege to present TAEDC with these awards and recognize its leadership and innovation in the field of economic development.”

Every year IEDC looks specifically for economic development organizations, government entities, initiatives, and programs that have demonstrated consistent, exemplary performance in the economic development profession, leading the execution of projects that have a significant impact on revitalizing communities, and playing a major role in shaping and improving the practice of economic development.

“The TAEDC is honored to receive this international recognition,” said TAEDC Chairman, Lynn Sebourn. “These three awards showcase the success of our region’s economy and of the TAEDC Board’s work that impacts thousands of citizens. Our region is a top choice for aerospace innovation and other companies that want quality of life with a small-town lifestyle.”

About Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation 

The Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation was established to help Tullahoma capture economic opportunities by: creating an economic development organization with a strategic and focused approach to economic planning and development activities; establishing a framework for quality economic growth and development targeting particular segments; formulating and implementing programs to increase job opportunities; partnering with businesses as well as state and local agencies. Board members are Chairman Lynn Sebourn, Vice-Chairman David Bond, Secretary Steve May, Treasurer John McCord, Rich Ellis, Beverly Lee, and Misty Damron.

About the International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 4,300 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities by creating, retaining, and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth, and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members engage in the full range of economic development practices. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in various settings, including local, state, provincial, and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities, and a variety of other institutions. When we succeed, our members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities, and improve the quality of life in their regions. Learn more at

About the Projects

equity and inclusion

Tullahoma Village Apartment Homes Redevelopment 

This was a multifamily-residential deal that included a $10,000,000.00 Bond Issue and payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT) to approve a unique developer to redevelop an aging low-income housing tax credit property, Tullahoma Village. The project created 85 short-term construction jobs.When the PILOT expires, the property tax assessment will have more value and when building is complete, unsanitary living conditions for citizens living in the 85 units will be successfully addressed. Remodeling these apartments and providing education, security, and stable utility services for this facility has been transformational to the residents and their children. A 13-year resident reported: “She was thankful for all the renovations, new management, cleanliness, and for the people responsible for creating an environment where she is so very proud to live. She was exuberant with pride as she walked her dog around the complex. She said to thank everyone for doing their part to make her such a happy woman.”


Innovation grphic


Great American Defense Community 

The Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation (TAEDC) set out to earn the Great American Defense Community designation to help recruit and grow the area’s aerospace and defense sector. As Tullahoma is home to the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), this designation was important to the continued success of the economic engine of the region. The Association of Defense Communities (ADC) recognized Tullahoma as a Great American Defense Community because of the way the community supports service members, their families, veterans, and the Arnold Air Force mission.

Earning this designation was one of TAEDC’s largest accomplishments and helps tell the workforce development story to support the high tech work at AEDC. In addition, ADC created a new video showcasing Tullahoma, which now serves as a recruiting tool.





equity and inclusion


Northgate Mall Redevelopment Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation

In 2015, the main retail mall corridor, Northgate Mall, was mostly empty. By 2019, the mall welcomed Publix, the only one to open in the state of Tennessee. Continued openings with major national brands followed, and the mall is now 100% leased after a $17 million dollar redevelopment, reclaiming Northgate Mall as the retail hub in the region. The outcome of this partnership with Brookside Properties was the result of the Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation issuing a Tax Increment Finance plan. Since 2020, the city has seen a 40% increase in sales tax and the addition of 20 new retailers to the corridor. Based on corporate data, the estimates for sales tax and jobs created by this development in Tullahoma is 300 retail jobs and $65M in increased retail sales. Other beneficiaries of this project are the county government and the citizens in this region. In addition, destination retail makes Tullahoma more competitive in quality of place marketing for recruiting as a desirable location for businesses and helps distinguish the city from other similarly sized communities in the region



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