Christensen Shipyards is putting the construction of its new Tennessee facility on hold.
According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the yard being built on Tellico Lake, expected to cost $20 million, has stopped construction due to a combination of factors. One was the possibility of increasing the size of the 400,000-square-foot yard, which was intended to build megayachts to 225 feet. Henry Luken, an investor in Christensen and a Tennessee businessman, told the paper, “We couldn’t put the doors on the building until we made the decision” and that instituting the delay will help save $1 million.
Other factors the paper quotes Luken referencing are the drop in the stock market over the past several months and his $30-million investment in a digital TV network. Regarding the latter, “I’m spending my own money, none of it is borrowed, so I have to be careful how I use it,” Luken told the paper.
There is good news, however: Work should begin again later this year. “We will finish the project. Most of the money has been spent. There is only about $3 million more,” he says.