For city officials, a lack of industrial spec sites means two things. One: Recruitment is going good, so land is limited. Two: They need more space.
With most area industrial parks packed near-capacity, Cullman officials hope to expand the amount of available sites with a $1.5 million property purchase on County Road 222.
Owned by the estate of the late Evelyn Burrow, the city plans to purchase a 170 acre tract stretching across the north and south side of the road near Industrial Park III.
Cullman city council member Jenny Folsom said the size and location of the property made it too appealing to pass up.
“That will be great for future growth of industrial space and park and recreation,” she said. “Finding 170 acres together like that is very rare, and with the location so close to the interstate, that would be a wise investment for the city.”
Officials with the Cullman Economic Development Agency say finding available space for potential industries is one of the biggest challenges they face while recruiting businesses to the area. The fact that the Burrow property already has utilities available at the site makes it even more attractive, director Peggy Smith said.
“Having a larger tract available which already has water, sewer, electricity natural gas and fiber in place along the road gives us the product that we must have to stay attractive to industry and continue our goal of bringing new opportunities and jobs to Cullman,” she said. “This new larger acreage gives us flexibility to subdivide, which helps us in marketing a site. The cost of extending utilities is always an issue as you look at land for industrial or public purposes.”
* Read more in the Friday, Sept. 16, 2011, print or e-edition of The Cullman Times.