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North Huntsville Industrial Park Site Earns AdvantageSite Designation

Published on February 10, 2017

Huntsville’s “advantage” in the intense competition for jobs has been its infrastructure, pro-business environment and talented workforce, but now local officials have another tool in the economic development toolbox.

Mayor Tommy Battle joined Council Member Devyn Keith, the Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville/Madison County and State economic development officials on Feb. 10 to announce a 67-acre tract in North Huntsville Industrial Park–Phase III has achieved “AdvantageSite Designation” from the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, a private, non-profit economic development organization based in Birmingham that supports the State of Alabama and local efforts in industrial recruitment.

The AdvantageSite designation is a successful program that puts industrial properties under the microscope to ensure that they are shovel-ready and will meet the needs of industry looking to expand to Alabama. This includes meeting benchmarks related to ownership/control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning and accessibility requirements.

EDPA and economic development allies handles the certification process. In essence, AdvantageSite does all of the hard work in vetting sites so a prospective company doesn’t have to take time and resources to do so. Think of it as an “easy button” for site selection.

Mayor Tommy Battle said this is all about being prepared and creating new opportunities.

“When we talk to potential industries, we are always asked how fast the company can be operational. Time is money in the site selection process. Companies are under tremendous stress to compete nationally and internationally. We have a site that can help them compress their timelines so that they can get started quickly and more importantly put our people to work. Between this designation and the Northern Bypass coming to North Huntsville, this site is going to be one of the top locations in our inventory.”

Huntsville City Councilman Devyn Keith, whose district is home to the new Alabama AdvantageSite, said promoting new business and industry to District 1 is a priority for him and for the residents living in North Huntsville. “This certification is the gold seal of approval in helping us to achieve our goal to provide new jobs and opportunity,” Keith said.

If a certified site sounds familiar to some, it is because this is the second announcement of a certified site program in Huntsville within the past 12 months. Huntsville also has a TVA Certified Megasite. Mayor Battle added this program is going to be more critical than ever in 2017.

AdvantageSite is a teamwork approach between the private sector and state and local governments geared toward having prepared product and materials ready for industrial prospects. Alabama now has 54 active AdvantageSites in the state.