Planned industrial park could spur economic developmentBy Emily Etheredge Published 1:15pm Friday, December 13, 2013
The growth of Chilton County seemed to be the common theme discussed at a lunch meeting Wednesday with economic developers primarily from Birmingham and Montgomery.
The gathering of roughly 30 individuals met near a new industrial park one mile from Interstate 65 Exit 212 named “Chilton Interstate Park,” which is being marketed for future business projects.
Currently, EGS Commercial Real Estate’s Deborah McGill Smith and Mark Byers are marketing the 232 acres of land for sale in hopes the site will be purchased by developers.
“I have been involved in economic development before in Jefferson County and I am impressed with the aggressiveness officials in this county are working on this opportunity,” Smith said. “Chilton County is ready to do business.”
The property sits on 530 acres owned by a former Birmingham surgeon and his family who retired to the property from Birmingham to use as farmland.
The surgeon has offered up 232 acres of his property from I-65 to Alabama Highway 145 with sites ranging from 3.26 acres to roughly 100 acres for sale.
Industrial Development Coordinator Fred Crawford spoke to individuals Wednesday about the potential of the property highlighting a community of people in Chilton County working for the development and growth of the area.
“This county is made up of a team of people interested in seeing growth,” Crawford said. “We have the mayor of Clanton and Jemison working along with the Chilton County Commission and our Rep. Kurt Wallace and many, many others.”
Crawford said one of the descriptions listed on the brochure for “property features” adequately described the area as “gently rolling hills.”
“When you come here you in fact have gently rolling hills,” Crawford said. “We have the land and many other things and this property is ready for the right company. We are in the center of the state for distribution and manufacturing. We want to have industry.”
Sain Associates in Birmingham helped design the master plan for Chilton Interstate Park.
Lawren Pratt with Sain Associates presented a rendering of the first phase of the plan.
“We have a plan and we are starting out on the right track,” Pratt said.
Wallace also addressed the fact that Chilton County is an hour away from Alabama’s three automakers including the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Honda in Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz in Vance.
“We have five exits on I-65,” Wallace said. “There is a lot of potential for this property.”
Crawford said the roads can be developed and water, power and sewer are ready to be extended to the park.
“This is a public/private venture,” Crawford said. “This is who we are and what we are doing.”
According to a brochure for the park, the property is listed at $3,400,000 or $30,000 per acre.
The brochure indicates the owner, who does not wish to be identified, will sell the entire parcel or subdivide with minimum lot requirements.