Baldwin Mega Site still looking for big industry

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) – Baldwin County’s 3,009 acre Mega Site cost the county $30 million. They purchased the final parcel in 2012 and have been actively marketing it for the last 18 months.

The property is in Bay Minette and is bordered by Interstate 65, Highway 287 and the CSX Railway to the south. Baldwin County’s Mega Site is categorized as an Advantage Site to any prospective tenants. Through its marketing by the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, the county has its eyes certain industries.

“It’s large advanced manufacturing firms that specialize really in assembly. So for us, assembly of large industrial products gives us the most bang for its bucks,” said President and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance, Lee Lawson.

For companies wanting to build from the ground with what’s called a green field development, initial capital investment would range from $700 million to $1 billion. So far the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance has gotten word out to 2,800 prospective clients. More importantly, there have been over 30 personal pitches and several visits to the site in recent months.

“We also want to make sure that a company that comes here has the same reputation, the same concern for its employees because what we’re trying to create is employment so that we to know that we’re finding a good partner for Baldwin County on that property,” said Baldwin County Commissioner, Tucker Dorsey.

Although everyone would like to see someone move in tomorrow, there is no set timeline to find a tenant. Officials say it’s not a matter of if they sell it, it’s a matter of when.

“In the long run, the Mega Site will employ probably around 4,000 people, making real wages that will be a real benefit to Baldwin County, not only for the folks that are employed there, but that money will filter out throughout our entire community,” Dorsey said.

Baldwin County’s closest competition for comparable Mega Sites in the Southeast is in Jacksonville, FL and in Huntsville, AL.

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