FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 25, 2016) – Gov. Matt Bevin today announced Legend Lumber Lee Corp. plans to open in a shuttered hardwood lumber concentration yard in Boston, Ky., investing nearly $3.5 million and creating at least 30 full-time positions to produce hardwood for export to Asia.
“Legend Lumber founder Jack Li saw demand for a product and took steps to find the best location to meet that demand,” said Gov. Bevin. “I’m proud to say that process led him to Kentucky. Here he found raw materials and willing partners who helped turn opportunity into reality. In addition to creating jobs and economic impact in Nelson County, Legend Lumber will add to the total value of Kentucky exports. We look forward to working with Mr. Li and his company as it grows.”
Jie “Jack” Li, president of Legend Lumber, bought the nearly 20 acre former SEEMAC Lumber facility in Boston which closed in 2009. Li said he plans to expand it and purchase new equipment. He expects the operation to be fully operational by the end of 2017. The facility will bring in green lumber for kiln and air drying, sorting, grading and shipping.
The company’s initial 20 full-time positions will include 16 yard employees, two clerical staff and a yard manager later this year. Li anticipates hiring 10 to 15 additional yard employees in 2017.
Li brings 20 years of lumber industry experience to Kentucky and a substantial customer base which he built in Asia, primarily in his native China.
“Demand for high-quality hardwoods in China remains particularly strong,” said Li. “With help from state and local economic developers in Kentucky, I’m pleased to have identified the SEEMAC concentration yard and put together a workable deal. I look forward to opening and helping to bring jobs and activity to Nelson County.”
Sen. Jimmy Higdon, of Lebanon, said the lumber supplier will benefit the area economically.
“Our regional economy will be positively impacted by the business Legend Lumber brings to the Boston area of Nelson County. I welcome the news and thank the company for its investment in our state,” Sen. Higdon said.
Rep. David Floyd, of Bardstown, expressed appreciation for Legend Lumber’s decision to call Nelson County home.
“I am excited that Nelson County was chosen as the site for this substantial investment in Kentucky’s building industry and thank the local and state economic development agencies for their support on this project,” Rep. Floyd said.
Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts said he expects the new addition to benefit the local community.
“We believe Legend Lumber will be a great asset to Nelson County. It will provide new jobs and a great investment for the community of Boston,” Judge Watts said.
To encourage the investment and job growth in Nelson County, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) preliminarily approved Legend Lumber for tax incentives up to $600,000 through the Kentucky Business Investment program. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.
Additionally, KEDFA approved Legend Lumber for up to $40,000 in tax incentives through the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act (KEIA). KEIA allows approved companies to recoup Kentucky sales and use tax on construction costs, building fixtures, equipment used in research and development and electronic processing.
Legend Lumber can also receive resources from the Kentucky Skills Network. Through the Kentucky Skills Network, companies are eligible to receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives. Last year, the Kentucky Skills Network trained more than 84,000 employees from more than 5,600 Kentucky companies.
A detailed community profile for Nelson County can be viewed here.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency responsible for encouraging new jobs and investment in the state. New capital investment announced in Kentucky in 2015 totaled a state record $5.1 billion, spurring more than 16,000 projected new jobs. Information on available industrial properties, workforce development assistance, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other economic development resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.