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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:
Germany's Bayer CropScience announces 'intention' to build nearly $400M plant in Mobile
Montgomery almost landed $300M tire plant
Business incubator outgrowing home
Alabama State Port Authority executive Mark Sheppard, 61, dies


Germany's Bayer CropScience announces 'intention' to build nearly $400M plant in Mobile
By Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on May 15, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - Bayer CropScience announced plans Wednesday to construct a global herbicide production facility in Mobile that would employ 180 people with average salaries of $75,000 by 2015.


The proposed project - for which the Mobile Industrial Development Board approved nearly $32 million in tax abatements Wednesday morning - represents a conservative investment of $396 million and would be constructed on property leased from Evonik should it proceed.


"This is very much the type of project we want to see," Troy Wayman, the chamber's vice president of economic development, told the board prior to unanimous approval of the 10-year abatements.


"This would be beneficial to the existing industry (with whom) Bayer is looking to co-locate. It's a great company to have in our international group with a long history of environmental stewardship and community involvement," Wayman said.







Montgomery almost landed $300M tire plant

By Brad Harper

May 15, 2013


Montgomery nearly won a months-long race for a $300 million tire plant before Mississippi wooed the plant away with a massive incentives package, city officials revealed Wednesday.


Yokohama Tire Corp. announced last month that it will build a plant in West Point, Miss. The plant will manufacture heavy equipment and truck tires and plans to hire 500 people initially and at least 2,000 workers after three additional expansion phases.


Montgomery officials said West Point and Alabama's capital city were the two survivors of a hotly competitive site selection process that started with 3,000 counties.


The Clarion-Ledger reported April 26 that Mississippi lawmakers approved $130 million in incentives as well as a 25-year exemption on income taxes with a "fee in lieu." About $12 million of that money came from local funds.

Montgomery officials said Wednesday that Alabama offered an incentives package worth about $38 million, including about $6.5 million in local funds.


"(Mississippi) stretched for it," Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce President Randy George told a gathering of elected officials Wednesday. "They obviously wanted it."




[Montgomery Advertiser]






Business incubator outgrowing home

By Patrick Rupinski 

Business Editor

May 16, 2013 


Tuscaloosa's first business incubator - a facility that helps budding entrepreneurs develop their business so they can go out on their own - started in October but already is outgrowing its building downtown.


The incubator, known as The Edge - Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, has three young businesses as full-time tenants. All three moved in since the first of the year, said Gina Simpson, The Edge's director.


There's space for a fourth business to locate there, she said, but The Edge already is looking for a bigger location.


A site search is underway, she said, adding that Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has earmarked $725,000 in the city's tornado-recovery money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grant for a new building for The Edge.


[Tuscaloosa News]






Alabama State Port Authority executive Mark Sheppard, 61, dies
Kelli Dugan | kdugan@al.com 
on May 15, 2013

MOBILE, Alabama - The Alabama State Port Authority lost a key asset to its international trade operations Tuesday with the passing of Mark Ivey Sheppard, vice president for trade and development.


Sheppard, 61, died at his home following a brief illness. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy Sheppard, and is survived by his daughter, Jessica Allen Sheppard of Washington, D.C.


Arrangements have not been announced.


Sheppard, a Mobile native and University of South Alabama graduate, joined the authority in 2005, where he led trade and carrier development for the authority's intermodal investments. Most notably, he is credited - despite a global economic recession - with expanding both business and ocean carrier service at the authority's new container terminal between 2008 and 2010. That trend continued in 2011, when year-over-year container traffic increased by another 31 percent.










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