Minnesota construction firm hired to build Smith & Wesson national distribution center in Missouri

(Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)

American Outdoor Brands — parent company for Smith & Wesson — moved forward on its plan to build a national distribution center for the gun maker near Columbia, Missouri. (Photo: Smith & Wesson/Facebook)

American Outdoor Brands hired a Minnesota-based construction firm last month to manage Smith & Wesson’s national distribution center planned for central Missouri.

The gun maker will pay Ryan Companies between $3.3 million and $3.5 million annually for the design, construction and lease of an approximately 632,000 square foot building near the city of Columbia, according to regulatory documents filed Oct. 31 with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The agreement — signed Oct. 26 — binds the two companies for an initial term of 20 years, with six five-year options to extend the lease and the possibility to expand the center itself by an additional 491,000 square feet. American Outdoor Brands estimates spending up to $24 million on furniture, fixtures, equipment and IT infrastructure over the next two years before commencing the lease in the later half of 2019.

The regulatory filing comes seven months after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens announced the prolific handgun manufacturer chose the state for its national distribution center after buying Columbia-based Battenfield Technologies in 2014.

“They are committed to growing with our state and creating jobs for the people of Missouri,” he told a local CBS affiliate in March. “Our top priority is bringing more opportunities to the people of Missouri and growing our economy.”

Greitens said the new center would create 300 jobs, re-home 100 Battenfield employees and leave open the potential for hundreds of future positions.

“Establishing a national distribution center will allow us, over time, to harvest synergies across our businesses,” American Outdoor Brands CEO James Debney said in a March 1 press release. “Our meetings with representatives of Missouri and Gov. Greitens demonstrated that they are business-friendly and understand what we need as a company to be successful.”