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Alliance buys land for industrial park
by Jebb Johnston
Sep 23, 2013 | 53 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alliance CEO Brett Marlar explains features of the 417-acre site during Monday's announcement. / Staff photo by Jebb Johnston
Alliance CEO Brett Marlar explains features of the 417-acre site during Monday's announcement. / Staff photo by Jebb Johnston
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Local officials hope to provide an economic game changer with Monday’s purchase of 417 acres of land for marketing to industry.

It is envisioned as a new industrial park setting that offers ample rail access while putting a larger parcel of land into the portfolio, potentially opening the door to bigger projects.

The Alliance's land purchase, backed by six local banks, closed Monday on the property which has frontage on U.S. Highway 72 and is near the Kimberly Clark Parkway. Officials gathered in a field off Barnstable Road to make the announcement.

“About a year ago, we began at The Alliance to look and see what we could do to really improve Corinth’s chance of landing industrial prospects,” said Reece Terry, chairman of the Economic Development Council. “One thing that came to light virtually every time we talked to professional developers and successful communities was that we needed more product — that product being in large-acre tracts of land.”

The largest existing site was 47 acres.

“The message to us was we needed to get property on rail, first and foremost,” said Alliance President Gary Chandler. “When you look at property on rail with proximity to transportation like Highway 72 and then with utilities close to it, it’s not a real easy find.”

This land is traversed by Norfolk Southern’s busy Crescent Corridor main line and the short line Redmont Railway. It also has ample water, natural gas and electrical capacity, with a nearby TVA transmission line offering 60 megawatts of excess capacity.

“We essentially are going to get two 100-acre sites on rail, which is very good for us,” said Chandler. “It puts us in a position to compete for projects that we really have not been able to compete for.”

Alliance CEO Brett Marlar said the property could possibly provide three separate site locations. The Alliance continues to see requests for sites with rail and 100 to 150 acres.

“Now we have two of those with every piece of data that a company could request ready to go,” said Marlar.

Corinth and Alcorn County elected officials are optimistic about the prospects.

“This is a significant step in the right direction in our quest for industrial recruiting,” said Mayor Tommy Irwin.

“I think this is going to open us up to a lot of industry looks that we didn’t get before,” said Board of Supervisors President Lowell Gann.

Immediate development plans include improvements to the access road and clearing 15 to 30 acres near the Norfolk Southern main line.

The Alliance expressed thanks to the banks for making the purchase possible — Commerce National Bank, BancorpSouth, Trustmark Bank, SOUTHBank, Renasant Bank and Home Banking Company.

A new Alliance industrial fund drive is beginning to support the purchase.
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