BAY MINETTE, Alabama — The Growing Alabama Commission approved the South Alabama Mega Site for an investment of $5.5 million for rail improvements at the shovel-ready 3,000-acre tract in Baldwin County.
The improvements include the construction of an on-site rail spur on the existing rail bed and construction of the wye, connecting the on-site rail spur to a CSX mainline. This funding brings the total investment to $12.5 million from the Growing Alabama Tax Credit program, which uses private dollars to improve publicly owned sites for economic development purposes.
“The South Alabama Mega Site is a prime location for a high-impact economic development project within the Gulf Coast region, and these new improvements will make the Baldwin County site even more competitive when it comes to strategic corporate investment decisions,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“This is another example demonstrating that the Growing Alabama Tax Credit Program is an effective tool in our team approach to facilitating economic growth in the state,” he added.
The Growing Alabama Tax Credit program allows for taxpayers who make contributions to economic development organizations for approved qualifying projects to receive a tax credit. The program is managed by the Alabama Department of Commerce and allows private companies and individuals to get a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for investing in preparation and infrastructure improvements to industrial sites.
Along with support by the Growing Alabama Commission and the Alabama Department of Commerce, the investment in this phase of the site’s infrastructure improvements is made possible by donations from Regions Bank and CSX Transportation.
“The South Alabama Mega Site had already re-defined the term ‘shovel ready’ with our existing site improvements, and this investment by our partners at CSX and Regions Bank puts us in an even better position to stand out among other mega sites in the Southeast,” said Lee Lawson, president and CEO of Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance.
“These improvements could potentially speed up development timelines by over a year, providing prospective companies with a speed to market that can’t be found anywhere else,” Lawson added.
The Growing Alabama Commission previously approved an additional $7 million in investment at the South Alabama Mega Site. Prior investments were used to develop a 200-acre building pad on-site and construct the on-site rail bed, which provides the base needed for the newest investment phase.
“This CSX Select Site is optimally located for CSX service as industries seek project space in Alabama’s booming economic market,” said Tom Tisa, head of business development for CSX. “This is another example of how CSX is leveraging public-private partnerships to grow our business and positively impact economies in the communities we serve.”
Christian White, Mobile market executive for Regions Bank, said he’s excited about the development opportunities for the Mega Site.
“Regions Bank has been a major supporter and contributor of economic development opportunities across South Alabama for decades, and our support of the Baldwin County Mega Site is an extension of our priority to make life better in the communities we serve,” White said.