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Winter 2012

Ten megasites in the South for the next 'Big Kahuna'

This is a semi-regular Ten Top 10 category. It needed to be updated considering how many large projects are out there right now. Here are our ten favorite megasites in the South that are ready for the next big kahuna project.

Glendale Megasite, Hardin County, Ky. 

Glendale Megasite, Hardin County, Ky. The 1,551-acre, CSX-Certified Glendale Megasite is no stranger to high-profile site selection searches. Strategically located in central Kentucky, just 47 miles south of Louisville along Interstate 65, the Glendale Megasite has been a finalist in several large-scale manufacturing developments.

One of three certified megasites in Kentucky, Glendale boasts an array of benefits, including a location that's within a day's drive of more than 67 percent of the U.S. population. Additionally, its proximity to the Louisville International Airport, UPS Worldport, Elizabethtown Regional Airport (with a 6,000 foot runway), as well as a bordering CSX main rail line, makes it ideal for meeting logistical needs. Industrial-sized utilities, including water, sewer, natural gas, electricity and telecommunication services are also available at the site.

Known for its strong work ethic, Hardin County's highly skilled, motivated and productive workforce is a major asset to potential employers. The site pulls from a large civilian labor force within a 60-minute drive. Additionally, the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College is located within six miles, offering state-of-the-art training facilities and training partnerships with local industries. A strong local economy contributes to the affordable housing choices, while the area's cultural events and recreational opportunities make it a desirable place to live year around.

Mid Atlantic Logistics Center, Brunswick County, N.C.

The Mid Atlantic Logistics Center and the International Logistics Park, located near the port of Wilmington, N.C., offers over 2,200 acres of industrial zoned land with sewer, water, natural gas, fiber and CSXT rail adjacent to the site. Four-lane US 74/76 connects the parks with the Wilmington port and I-95. The county has one of the lowest tax rates in North Carolina with competitive incentives. A Foreign Trade Zone will soon be established over the parks and they are within the Port Enhancement Zone, which offers additional incentives.

With 14,000 people looking for work in the Wilmington region, an industry will have no problem finding qualified workers that could be trained at the Work Force Training Center located just 4 miles away. Customized training is offered at no cost to an industry.

Brunswick County is located between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, which offers some of the best quality of life you will find on the east coast. Over 35 golf courses, six resort beaches and numerous attractions serve the county, and public education exceeds state standards.

The Mid Atlantic Logistics Center and the International Logistics Park offer an industry most everything one can envision for a quality location decision. "Come Work Where You Play"!

Carolinas I-95 Mega Site, Dillon County, S.C.

Carolinas I-95 Megasite, Dillon, S.C.As the name implies, the Carolinas I-95 Mega Site is a 1,920-acre park with direct access to Interstate 95. In addition to highway access, this site will meet just about every manufacturer's or distribution center's transportation needs. The site is just five miles from Dillon County airport, less than 30 miles from Florence Regional airport, just over an hour's drive from the Ports of Georgetown and Wilmington, and just over two hour's drive from the Port of Charleston.

The Carolinas I-95 Mega Site is a South Carolina Certified site, meaning that substantial wetlands, environmental, geotechnical, and archaeological studies have been performed. All utilities, including rail, are in place, and if needed, the site can be expanded in excess of 2,500 acres.

This park is located in the heart of South Carolina's lush NESA region -- named for the North Eastern Strategic Alliance, the regional economic development organization representing the nine counties in South Carolina's northeast corner.

The region boasts a top quality, ready, willing, and able workforce, a business friendly environment in a right to work state, and a community committed to doing what it takes to bring jobs to the region and help companies thrive.

The I-95 Megasite, Clarendon and Sumter Counties, S.C.

With a 50-mile workforce some 200,000 workers strong, the I-95 Megasite can fill the labor needs of any large manufacturer. The regional labor shed encompasses the growing cities of Manning, Sumter and Florence, S.C., with a population of more than a quarter-million residents. This motivated workforce is highly-trained, and is backed up by South Carolina's award-winning technical training program, "readySC," a program that can train workers on specific new job tasks at little or no cost to the company.

Located on the most traveled corridor along the eastern seaboard, the I-95 Megasite along the Clarendon-Sumter County line was conceived and designed with a massive manufacturer in mind. At 1,400 acres, with another 1,400 acres adjacent and available, the site is big enough to handle even the largest projects, and it's specifically certified to state standards as an automotive manufacturing site. The I-95 Megasite features nearly two miles of I-95 frontage, and is just an hour and a half from the Ports of Charleston, making it a natural location for manufacturers looking for a low-cost access to international markets.

The I-95 Megasite also represents the best in regional cooperation as it is managed by a 4-way partnership between Clarendon, Sumter, Lee and Williamsburg Counties.

West Kentucky Megasite, Graves County, Ky.

The 2,130-acre West Kentucky Megasite is one of the largest industrial sites in the South and one of three certified megasites in Kentucky. The site has been certified by McCallum Sweeney and is served by two electric power companies, providing some of the lowest industrial power rates in the nation with quality reliable service.

Two-thirds of the U.S. population is within a day's drive of the site, making it a prime location for large-scale manufacturers that need easy access to U.S. suppliers. Served by five Class I railroads, the West Kentucky Megasite is located on a limited access four-lane highway 10 miles from I-24 and I-69/Parkway. Ports on the Ohio, Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers also provide numerous opportunities for low-cost, eco-friendly transportation.

The West Kentucky region has a long tradition of manufacturing employment and has a skilled labor pool of more than 65,000 workers in industrial-related occupations. Production skills in the region include assembly, chemical, metal working and food processing. Customized workforce training is also available through the West Kentucky Community and Technical College's Emerging Technology Center and Murray State University.

South Alabama Megasite, Baldwin County, Ala.

Many of today's mega-size manufacturing projects require megasites of 1,000 or more acres. Certified megasites, with all due diligence complete, are rare. Sites with access to both North-South and East-West interstates, a major international port, two commercial airports and world-class beaches are even rarer.

There may be only one with over 3,000 acres, potential dual electric service, large water and wastewater capacity, served by the CSX railroad, AIDT, a nationally recognized job training system, and with close proximity to the Port of Mobile.

The McCallum Sweeney certified site is located in Baldwin County, Ala., sits 45 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico (the same distance from the Gulf as Houston, Tex.), has an elevation of over 260 feet, and offers everything a huge manufacturer needs. Baldwin County has a regional population of over 1 million people and world-class quality of life. The site sits adjacent to I-65, is 32 miles from the Port of Mobile, within 60 miles of two commercial airports and lies 23 miles north of I-10.

Crawford Diamond Megasite, Callahan, Fla.

This new-to-market location boasts rare dual Class 1 rail frontage on-site, providing access to both CSX and Norfolk Southern main rail lines. It is within about 17 miles of major north-south and east-west Interstate highways I-95 and I-10, on the four-lane, median divided U.S. Highway 301 (currently under construction). This 1,800-acre, flexible megasite, with extensive logistical solutions, can accommodate a broad range of large-scale industrial projects within an eight-hour drive of 45 million people.

Located 16 miles northwest of Jacksonville, Fla., the megasite has been approved for up to 10.5 million square feet of industrial land use, which can include manufacturing, assembly, warehousing and distribution, and be used as an intermodal inland port or logistics center. The site is within 20 miles of two deep-water ports and four marine terminals and only 12 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. The site is currently being certified by McCallum Sweeney.

I-24 Megasite, Hopkinsville, Ky.

I-24 Megasite, Hopkinsville, Ky. The I-24 Megasite in Hopkinsville-Christian County, Ky. contains 2,100 acres of prime property adjacent to Interstate 24, only 55 miles from Nashville. A certified automotive megasite by McCallum Sweeney, the property is located in the center of the U.S. automotive marketplace and within a day's drive of 75 percent of the U.S. population. The availability of a well-trained workforce, a well maintained Interstate transportation system, and an excellent utility infrastructure system makes the I-24 Megasite a prime location for growth in the automotive industry.

Hopkinsville-Christian County is part of a 274,000-person metropolitan statistical area with Clarksville, Tenn. and Fort Campbell, Ky., which was rated the 10th Fastest Growing MSA in the nation in 2008. There are 476,841 people in a 40-mile radius of this site, many including the skilled soldiers and family members at Fort Campbell. Kentucky boasts a highly desirable business climate, ranking 8th in the nation for New and Expanding Industry Activity in 2011 by Site Selection Magazine.

Mid-Atlantic Advanced Manufacturing Center (MAMaC megasite), Emporia, Va.

The 1,545-acre MAMaC site is the only McCallum Sweeney certified megasite in Va., N.C., and Md. The Development Team includes CSX, Virginia Port Authority, Virginia Manufacturer's Association, Mid-Atlantic Broadband Cooperative, Old Dominion Electric Cooperative, and Southside Virginia Community College. The MAMaC site is a regional economic development initiative of Greensville County, the City of Emporia and Brunswick County with funding support from the Virginia Tobacco Commission. 

The site has direct frontage on I-95 (over 7,000 feet) and convenient access to I-85 and features CSX mainline rail access. It is located 90 minutes to Virginia's  port -- the only East Coast port that can handle "post-Panamax" ships -- and less than 25 miles from the NC Center for Automotive Research (NCCAR). 

The Conder Megasite, Kershaw County, S.C.

The Conder Megasite, located on Interstate 20 within 32 miles of South Carolina's capital market of Columbia, features 1,468 acres in Kershaw County. Three other Interstates -- I-77, I-26 and I-95 -- are located within a 30-minute drive or less from the site. Conder has easy on-off Interstate access as well as access to world markets through the Port of Charleston, located only 124 miles away.

The Conder Megasite also has all utilities on site including CSX rail. The ideal mix of supportive government, low tax rates and competitive incentive packages make the site one of the most competitive in the South. Add an abundant labor shed of over 500,000 that the Columbia MSA offers, along with a nationally recognized workforce training program with "readySC," and you will discover that the Conder Megasite is well prepared for the next "Big Kahuna" that lands in the South.

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