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Here is today's summary of economic development news, a free service of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, representing Alabama's private sector investment in economic development.  If you enjoy NewsFlash, thank an EDPA Partner


In this issue:
Brasfield & Gorrie wins contract to build Kloeckner plant near ThyssenKrupp AG
Birmingham's downtown transportation building plans back on track
Gov. Bentley brings message to Birmingham, says Amendment 2 failure would be "devastating"
Economic Development Group Led by Attorney Alex B. Leath Joins Bradley Arant



Brasfield & Gorrie wins contract to build Kloeckner plant near ThyssenKrupp AG

Published: Monday, November 05, 2012, 1:44 PM    

By Stan Diel | sdiel@al.com 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - Birmingham-based Brasfield & Gorrie has won the contract to build a new $18 million Kloeckner Metals steel processing facility near the ThyssenKrupp AG plant north of Mobile, the contractor announced.


The processing plant will be built on 16 acres in the ThyssenKrupp Industrial Park in Calvert, Brasfield & Gorrie said in a prepared statement. The plant will have a significant economic impact, said Brasfield & Gorrie vice president and division manager Steven Manown.


"The steel industry has a vital impact on the economy and our community," Manown said. "We are honored to be a part of a project that will provide significant opportunities for the local community."


Officials with the Roswell, Ga.-based Kloeckner this summer said the 100,000-square-foot plant would created 32 jobs in Mobile County over three years, and 75 jobs over 10 years. Pay and benefits for workers will total about $60,000 a year, Kloeckner CFO Kirk Johnson told the Mobile Press-Register.


Kloeckner, which employs about 11,400 people worldwide, also operates a processing center on Industrial Boulevard in Bessemer.





Birmingham's downtown transportation building plans back on track, mayor expected to announce

By Joseph D. Bryant | jbryant@al.com 


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Birmingham Mayor William Bell Tuesday is expected to announce that federal officials have waived millions in penalties for demolishing the current Birmingham-Jefferson County transit building and will allow construction of two new buildings for a downtown transportation facility.


While officials in Bell's office would not confirm the specifics, the waiving of fees remained the major impediment to the proposed $30 million project to build an intermodal facility for both city bus, Greyhound and Amtrak. The concept required leveling the BJCTA station, even though the structure was built in 1999.


A provision allows the agency to recoup some of the money spent to build the original BJCTA building if it was no longer used as it was intended. The project would be funded 80 percent by the Federal Transportation Administration and 20 percent by the city.


Bell is expected to brief the City Council on the latest information. Bell's chief of staff, Chuck Faush, called the pending announcement significant.


"After numerous meetings and negotiations, the mayor successfully received word that millions will not have to be repaid, which was first speculated, and satisfying the need to get around the city and getting around the country and having an enjoyable experience whether you're stating in Birmingham or end up in Birmingham," Faush said. "It's important to remember that this is a decades old project that was stalled and the mayor recognized from this first day that this is a project that will affect many."







Gov. Bentley brings message to Birmingham, says Amendment 2 failure would be "devastating"
Published: Monday, November 05, 2012, 10:53 AM

By Alex Walsh | awalsh@al.com 


Gov. Robert Bentley is putting all his weight behind Amendment 2, sending a message to voters that sounds a lot like the one that was broadcast in September.


"It's so vital to our state," Bentley said of the amendment. "I have to have economic incentive money to bring jobs to this state."


If it passes, the amendment would free up additional money for incentives by giving Alabama more flexibility with the way it handles its debt. 


By law, the state of Alabama may not borrow more than $750 million to support economic development. Amendment 2 would not change that cap, but it would allow the state to save money on interest by refinancing existing debt.


Consumers refinance debt every day, often on loans used to pay for a home or a car. This relatively simple financial procedure is what the governor is proposing for Alabama. And it could give the state access to approximately $160 million to use to attract new companies to do business here.


But simple or not, Bentley has been consistent with his language about how important the amendment is to Alabama's economy, and did not back down Monday morning at a meeting of business leaders hosted by the Birmingham Business Alliance.


"Without Amendment 2 we cannot create jobs in this state," Bentley said. "It'll be devastating [if it does not pass]. This is almost a must."







Economic Development Group Led by Attorney Alex B. Leath Joins

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham 


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Nov. 1, 2012) - Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP is pleased to announce that well known economic development attorney Alex B. Leath has joined the firm as a partner in the Birmingham office. Arriving with him are three associates: David H. Cooper, Jr.; Charles B. "Trey" Hill III; and Matthew A. Hinshaw. Mr. Leath and his colleagues will serve as members of the firm's Economic Development and Incentives Group and State and Local Tax Practice Group.  They are formerly of Balch & Bingham LLP in Birmingham, where Mr. Leath was head of the Economic Development/Taxation Practice Group.

These additions continue Bradley Arant Boult Cummings' strong strategic growth over the past year, during which more than 60 attorneys have joined.  

"We are pleased to welcome Alex and his colleagues to Bradley Arant Boult Cummings," said Firm Chairman Beau Grenier. "They are an excellent addition to our existing economic development team, which is an area of strategic focus for us as a firm."

"We believe the combination of Alex's group with ours is a very positive move in our ongoing objective to be a market leader in economic development in Alabama, Tennessee, and the Southeast," said J. Thomas Trent, Jr., who chairs the firm's Economic Development and Incentives Group. "We are excited about their joining us and think this will be a real asset for our clients."

Mr. Leath has played a significant role in numerous economic development projects in the Southeastern United States over the last two decades. Recently, he advised Volkswagen Group of America on the site selection process for the company's U.S. manufacturing headquarters. His representation on this matter included implementation of the project incentives and other work related to tax, corporate, real estate, and environmental permitting issues.

"We are pleased to join Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, which boasts a thriving and well-respected economic development team," said Mr. Leath. "This move was a natural next step for our practice, and we look forward to working with such a talented group of attorneys and serving the firm's clients." 

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Enjoy the day, 

Val Walton
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