638-acre industrial park to be built in Macon County
MACON COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Big economic news for Macon County with the announcement of the Regional East Alabama Logistics Park, or R.E.A.L Park.
“You can see it, you can dream it, you can feel it. The early clients that we’ve shown the site to have been very ecstatic about it and very excited about maybe being some of the first tenants here,” said Joe Turnham, executive director of the Macon County Economic Development Authority.
The 638-acre site is located at the site of Beck’s Turf Farm at the corner of County Road 53 and Highway 186 at Exit 42, which is the Wire Road exit.
“This is a humongous accomplishment for economic development in Macon County. We have a site here that can rival any along the I-85 corridor in Alabama or Georgia,” said Turnham.
The Regional East Alabama Logistics Park, or R.E.A.L Park, is becoming a reality with the help of a partnership between MCEDA, landowners and Farpoint Development, which is headquartered in Chicago.
“So the plan is to get a tenant for the first one, then start the next one and try to be a building ahead all the time here on the site,” said Turnham.
The three-phase project will feature approximately 13 buildings and 5 million total square feet of finished buildings over a seven to 10-year period. The first phase will feature the construction of a 169,000 square foot expandable “grade A” industrial commercial structure, or “spec building.”
The construction of the first building will begin April 4 and is slated to be finished towards the end of 2022.
“We can host about four to five million square feet of space where we would be able to have industrial assets and manufacturing facilities,” said Justin Patwin, managing director for Farpoint Development.
Farpoint commissioned the Center of Business and Economic Research from the University of Alabama to do an economic impact analysis that shows the project will bring $386,000,000 in new economic capital investment when fully built, and over 1,000 new direct jobs and 863 indirect jobs. Local taxes generated will be in the millions of dollars per year at full completion.
“I think that the investment that we’re making in Macon County is also significant. We’re hoping that through the development, we can bring at least 1,000 jobs to Macon County, and that’ll have large implications on the tax revenue that’s generated both for the county as well as the state,” said Patwin.
Farpoint is already actively marketing the building to potential company tenants.