The Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, which works to attract and maintain industry in the state, announced today that about 58 acres of the McClellan Industrial Park received its Alabama AdvantageSite designation. Local economic developers say they can use the designation as a marketing tool to show industries that the site is ready for development.
"It makes the site more marketable by showing a company or consultant that we've gone through all our due diligence," said Don Hopper, executive director of the Calhoun County Economic Development Council.
The council owns the 58-acre site, accessible by Iron Mountain Road in the former fort.
To earn the AdvantageSite designation, Hopper said, the council worked for months producing the necessary paperwork, clearing overgrown vegetation and installing water and sewer lines.
Greg Blalock, project director for the AdvantageSite program, said today that the EDPA website shows the McClellan Industrial Park has earned the AdvantageSite designation. In addition, the park will be added to the EDPA's list of AdvantageSite locations that it sends to site consultants each year.
Since the program began in 2008, 14 industries have located at sites with the AdvantageSite designation, creating more than 3,000 jobs and generating $665 million in capital investment, according to Blalock.
"It started with projects coming in that were looking at shorter and shorter timeframes," Blalock said of the program. "So we wanted an inventory of sites that had all done their due diligence and were ready for development."
The designation does not cover the other 217 acres of the industrial park controlled by the McClellan Development Authority. The MDA is responsible for the management and development of McClellan.
Still, the designation should benefit the entire park, said Robin Scott, executive director of the MDA. Scott said the designation will help entice industries to visit McClellan, who will then be shown all of the industrial park, not just the AdvantageSite section.
"They may turn around and say, 'that's a good site,' but then decide that another site nearby is better," Scott said. "It's a great thing for the whole park in general."
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.