MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) – Big economic news for Macon County with the announcement of the East Alabama Regional Logistics Park, or REAL Park.
“You can see it, you can dream it, you can feel it. The first customers we showed the site to were very excited about possibly being among the first tenants here,” said Joe Turnham, executive director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.
The 638-acre site is located on the Beck’s Turf Farm site at the corner of County Road 53 and Highway 186 at Exit 42, which is the Wire Road exit.
“This is a huge achievement for the economic development of Macon County. We have a site here that can rival any along the I-85 corridor in Alabama or Georgia,” Turnham said.
The East Alabama Regional Logistics Park, or REAL Park, is becoming a reality through a partnership between MCEDA, landowners and Chicago-headquartered Farpoint Development.
“So the plan is to get a tenant for the first one and then start the next one and try to be one building ahead all the time here on site,” Turnham said.
The three-phase project will include approximately 13 buildings and 5 million total square feet of finished buildings over a seven to 10 year period. The first phase will include the construction of a 169,000 square foot ‘grade A’ expandable industrial commercial structure, or ‘specific building’.
Construction of the first building will begin on April 4 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
“We can accommodate approximately four to five million square feet of space where we could have industrial assets and manufacturing facilities,” said Justin Patwin, managing director of Farpoint Development.
Farpoint commissioned the Center of Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama to perform an economic impact analysis that shows the project will bring in $386,000,000 in new economic capital investment when fully constructed, and more 1,000 new direct jobs and 863 indirect jobs. Local taxes generated will be in the millions of dollars per year upon full completion.
“I think the investment we’re making in Macon County is also important. We hope that through the development we can create at least 1,000 jobs in Macon County, and that will have big implications for the tax revenue generated for both the county and the state,” Patwin said.
Farpoint is already actively marketing the building to potential company tenants.
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