‘Building 100’ in I-85 logistics hub opens amid ambitious growth plans
Written by Jerry Underwood | Read the original article on madeinalabama.com.
TUSKEGEE, Alabama — The Regional East Alabama Logistics (REAL) Park, which aims to supercharge economic growth in the Tuskegee region, is open for business with the commissioning of the first building in the logistics hub.
Doster Construction Co. and Farpoint Development announced this week that construction has been completed on Building 100, an expandable 168,000-square-foot structure that’s ready for occupancy.
“This first structure in REAL Park has already generated dozens of inquiries, proposals and interest for other build-to-suit opportunities,” said Joe Turnham, director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority. “With our Farpoint team members, we are confident that REAL Park will become the new diamond along the I-85 corridor.”
Building 100 represents the catalyst project for a planned 6.2 million-square-foot, 638-acre Class A industrial park near Tuskegee that is calculated to generate more than $450 million of total economic output in the region.
“This dream park, when fully developed, will bring hundreds of millions of dollars of new capital investment and hundreds of jobs, not to mention needed revenue to our schools and local governments here in Macon County,” Turnham added.
“Within a decade, I can envision this project recasting our future for prosperity.”
Investment in the first phase of the project is approximately $20 million, the park’s backers said when construction started in June 2022.
Farpoint, which has offices in Chicago and Asheville, North Carolina, is actively marketing Building 100 as an industrial facility for lease.
“REAL Park is a game-changer not just for Macon County, but the whole state of Alabama, because it will attract global businesses to the region. We have been blown away by the amount of interest in REAL Park that we’ve received from companies around the world,” said Justin Patwin, principal at Farpoint Development.
Turnham said the team has several serious prospects for Building 100 and hope to have a tenant lined up by this summer.
He added that discussions are under way on the possibility of constructing another speculative building in the park. In addition, brokers are in discussions for several build-to-suit, lease options for tenants.
“The I-85 corridor between Montgomery and the Georgia line is getting very mature and needs new inventory of sites to promote the State of Alabama,” Turnham said.
The entire master-planned project lies in a Qualified Opportunity Zone and federal, state and local incentives are available for qualified projects.
The property is strategically located in a fast-growing automotive corridor along I-85 between Kia’s West Point Assembly Plant in Georgia, and Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama in Montgomery.
REAL Park is approximately 200 miles from the Port of Mobile — the only deep-water port in Alabama and one of the busiest in the nation — and a short drive from major airports.
“REAL Park will better position Macon County to take full advantage of economic growth along the I-85 corridor,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Having this available building onsite will energize the development team’s efforts to quickly capitalize on the possibilities in industries such as automotive, aerospace, forest products and manufacturing,” he added.
Brenda Tuck, Rural Development Manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce, said REAL Park is another example of a forward-thinking project that will plant the seeds for economic growth in a rural area.
“The logistics park will better position the entire area for opportunities that can add new dimensions to Macon County’s economy and power sustainable growth,” Tuck said.