Park receives special distinctionPublished 6:05am Saturday, October 27, 2012
When trying to attract business and industry to the area, Franklin County Economic Development Authority Executive Director Mitch Mays knows the importance of offering incentives that set local industrial parks apart from similar ones across the state.
Because of this, Mays said he was happy to receive word from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama that the MG Industrial Park on Alabama 243 has been re-designated as an AdvantageSite, which means the park is “shovel ready,” or ready for prospective industry to come in and begin to build.
“The Alabama AdvantageSite program is a great way to differentiate Franklin County from other communities,” Mays said. “By having all of the due diligence complete and documented we can definitively state to industry and site selection consultants that we are ready for their business and can get their company into operation quickly.
“With the MG Industrial Park being near Toyota plants in Huntsville and Tupelo, Miss., and also Navistar, we see this as an important component to our recruitment strategy.”
The MG Industrial Park was Alabama’s third AdvantageSite, when it received its original designation in 2008.
The AdvantageSite program requires that community economic development organizations provide documentation specific to a proposed industrial site, including a set of standard data related to ownership/ control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status.
Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements.
Physical features that make the 190-acre site appealing include being only 38 miles from I-22 and 50 miles from I-65. Also, the Northwest Regional Airport in Muscle Shoals is located 20 miles away and the Russellville Municipal Airport is just south of the site.
Participation in the AdvantageSite program is on a voluntary basis but being part of the program helps certain areas more competitive for companies considering a location in Alabama.
The application process was managed locally by the Franklin County Industrial Development Board with a team of local entities supporting and participating in the process.
The program is jointly sponsored by the Alabama Development Office, Alabama Gas Corporation, Alabama Power Company, the North Alabama Industrial Development Association, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, and coordinated by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. Representatives from each of the entities actively participate in application reviews and on-site visits to prospective AdvantageSite designees.
“We are pleased that the MG Industrial Park has been re-designated as an Alabama AdvantageSite,” said Clint Dotson, chairman of the Franklin County Industrial Development Board. “This is a great program that proves the MG Industrial Park is shovel ready, which is very important to today’s industry.”
In addition to other benefits of the designation, AdvantageSites are featured on EDPA’s buildings and sites database, which is the statewide database of industrial buildings and sites used by site selection consultants, state economic developers, and companies looking to expand in Alabama.