“This is nearing the final step, so we can get started turning some yellow machinery loose out here on this ground that we’ve owned for the last 10 years,” said McClellan Development Authority board member Mike James.
After gathering input from business owners, residents and board members, 4Site Inc., the company hired to create a master plan for the former base, presented the vision it believes will create a cohesive plan for the industrial parks and a center for the entire community on McClellan.
“You can’t do this in a vacuum,” said Jerry Cargile, one of the partners in 4Site. “It has to have a center and a heart to it.”
The plan Cargile and his business partner Drew Whorton presented to some of the board members and stakeholders Friday morning would preserve the natural beauty of the land and use much of the infrastructure already in place, but tweak it to serve new purposes.
The plan would create 48 industrial sites on five-acre plots and a separate available site in an area known as the “starship” section – named for odd-looking buildings in the area. The roads would be reorganized to create a truck route and separate the industrial traffic from the residential traffic. The MDA could create the plan in two phases adding about 2,000 feet of road in the first phase and another 4,000 feet of road in the second phase, Cargile said.
“It creates a very cohesive park environment there that gives a good separation from the retail to the industrial, but at the same time, it gives a good connection, too,” said architect Jay Jenkins, who attended the meeting. “It just expands some opportunities there and gives the stables an opportunity to grow in the right direction.”
The plan described in the meeting is just a rough draft. The details still need to be worked out, including engineering reports on the roads to make sure they can handle the kind of heavy traffic an industrial park would bring and confirmation on utilities. The complete plan should be ready in four to six weeks, Cargile said.
“The organization of the plan was the key part,” he said. “Once you get to that part, it’s all down into the details that we can kind of hammer out. So, I think we can say we got to that.”
Robin Scott, executive director of MDA, was excited about the prospect of getting on with the development process.
“I’ve been kind of looking over their shoulder for the past couple of days now,” he said. “I’m excited about the stuff they’re starting to produce.”
The goal of all the planning is to make McClellan a viable part of the community and an asset to the city.
“I’m excited about the opportunity this would present to bring in new industry, create jobs for our community and, of course, widen the tax base so we could provide the services our citizens so desperately need,” James said.
Contact staff writer Laura Camper at 256-235-3545.