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kayman

Discussion: A technology/research park

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Official envisions research park between Springville, Ashville

Ed Gardener, Jr., executive director of the St. Clair County Economic Council has mentioned the possibility of the building a research and technology park in nothern St. Clair County between Springville and Ashville.

We need to have this discussion because I think this is one of the keys to helping bring in more migration of non-natives into the Greater Birmingham area. It would propel us as an even more dominant player in the South as research technology center. Finally and foremost, this would help increase the region population bringing diversity, new residents, and major economic development.

I like Gardener's idea, but I think this would be better suited for the area closer into towards Birmingham itself like the massive Old Ensley Mill site in western part of the city. That would the perfect spot to built a research and technology park while redeveloping and not adding to the area's sprawl.

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I'm with you, Leonard. A big-time research park belongs in Birmingham, not in a cow pasture.

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I'm going to market this idea to a couple of key individuals around the area and see if it will gain some traction. We'll see what will happen.

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City eyed for vaccine plant

In related news, a major biotech company is looking to open a vaccine production facility in the area. Solvay Pharmaceuticals is looking at opening a $300M vaccine production facility to research and produce a flu vaccine that could possibly combat the avian flu also.

This is the type of substainable economic development that we need to keep trying to incorporate into the state's economy not more unstable heavy industry. If we land this research and biotech facility, we will be one step closer to the idea research park coming to this area. That alone will be mean more outsiders rethink about it and see Birmingham as a possibility for relocation. :)

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Biotech firms should keep it simple

Biotechnology Association of Alabama held a conference on Tuesday to encourage the state-based biotechnology firms to increase their visibility here to help encourage the state to fund more technology-base economic growth. Also there at the conference was CNBC reporter Mike Huckman to tell remind officials that the general public doesn't understand such complicated terms and words used to describe some forms of biotechnology and to keep to layman's terms.

The more visibility of the biotechnology industry here the more likely it along with UAB will receive the proper state funding to support and help the industry grow.

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I think Birmingham needs to construct a nice research park somewhere within the city limits outside of downtown. It would allow people to get more choices of high paying jobs, and it would help our economy. Graduates fresh out of college could perhaps find a great job right after college...keeping them in Birmingham. I am not sure how hard it would be, but the eastern area of town comes to mind for a research park since it is sort of undergoing a renaissance period and this just seems like a great place for the city to get a fresh start on things. Nice new homes for higher incomes could be constructed when this gets under way from the Crestwood, to Woodlawn, to East Lake(it just sounds like a classy neighborhood), to Roebuck and Huffman. I can see it now. Revitalization would be the key for these neighborhoods. With a research park nearby, Woodlawn and Huffman high schools could be able to gain some students with parents that care a little more than current parents and these schools could be the model schools that every teen wants to attend.

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Governor Riley claims there's a major biotech company looking at Jefferson County that would have a similar type of effect in the biotech industry here as Mercedes-Benz had on our automotive industry. We'll see. Just something to keep an eye on.

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Governor Riley claims there's a major biotech company looking at Jefferson County that would have a similar type of effect in the biotech industry here as Mercedes-Benz had on our automotive industry. We'll see. Just something to keep an eye on.

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I wonder if this has anything to do with the vaccine manufacturing facility that has been mentioned awhile back? :unsure:

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What about the old UAB/OADI building on Lakeshore?

OADI moved/merged into the new Innovation Depot downtown...

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A study shows Birmingham is well-positioned to be a huge center of automotive research and development and corporate headquarters of financial sector and other white collar industries

Rules, incentives complicate efforts to compete in financial and automotive research sectors

"We've got the best automotive sector in the Southeast, and we should be able to attract automotive research and development companies, but our incentives don't help us do that," he said.

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A study shows Birmingham is well-positioned to be a huge center of automotive research and development and corporate headquarters of financial sector and other white collar industries

Rules, incentives complicate efforts to compete in financial and automotive research sectors

A study done by Atlanta consulting firm, Boyette Levy, and funded in part by the Metropolitan Development Board showed that Alabama's statutory incentives is hampering the region. However, the study shown that Birmingham is almost perfected positioned to become a major name in the automotive research and development industry due to its proximity to the Mercedes-Benz and Honda manufacturing facilities as well as its centralized location between the Hyundai and Toyota facilities. The massive amount of engineering-knowledge produced by Auburn, UAB, and UAH has created a vast area of potential for the region in the automotive sector for the state.

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Well Sly, arguably the best location would probably be in the old Ensley Mill site since it is a huge brownfield that won't likely see any type of redevelopment other than a mixed-used project (and that seems doubtful also). The use of the massive site would put some brakes on the sprawl that has seem to accellerated over the past 5 years in Greater Birmingham, while offering a new use of site within the City of Birmingham that wouldn't require annexation. It would a win-win for the City of Birmingham (new jobs, new tax revenue, and the possible of leading to a massive urban renew of Ensley, Sherman Heights, and East Thomas) and the metropolitan area (more possibility of new residents to the urban core).

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SOLVAY PHAMACEUTICALS ARE SERIOUSLY EYEING LAKESHORE FOR AN BIOTECH FACILITY

The Belgium-based chemical and pharmaceutical group has narrowed down its search for its first US facility to 2 sites one of them is the 337-acre Jefferson Metropolitan Park Lakeshore and another site in 916-acre dubbed "Bamboo" near Athens, Georgia along Georgia Highway 316 on the Oconee and Clarke County line. The biotech facility would bring initially more than 200 new technology/research-based jobs to the region, and be worth $300M addition to the economy.

We can only hope that Birmingham lands this project as it would boost our presence in the biotech industry outside of UAB and it would be within Birmingham corporate limits. This would only led to more biotech firms considering the area a place they want to be for the industry.

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PLAN TO FIX STATE INCENTIVE PLAN TOWARDS WHITE COLLAR AND KNOWLEDGE-BASED JOBS RECRUITMENT

Alabama Development Office Director Neal Wade and State Senator Jabo Waggoner have forged an alliance to fix the state's current incentives to make it more feasible for more white-collar jobs to come into the state. As mentioned in The News in July, the state's current incentives package is more aimed at manufacturing jobs rather than long-term, sustainable knowledge-based and white collar jobs. There is also the call for more emphasis on the getting the two-year colleges more involved in the training for such jobs. The call for such adjustments to the state legislation to allow this incentives would be made available for lawmakers in Montgomery in time for next year's regular session.

We can only hope that this plan is accomplished as it seems that much continue to remain highly competitve in the areas such as white-collar jobs here in the Birmingham region. Birmingham's future greatly depends on how well it fairs in its ability in land and continuously attracting more biotech, research-based, and financial sector jobs.

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BIRMINGHAM APPEARS TO BE IN THE LEAD FOR THE SOLVAY FACILITY

The Athens Banner-Herald has reported that the 916-acre site along Georgia Highway 316 on the Oconee and Clarke County line has been eliminated from Solvay's search for a biotech facility. It seems that Birmingham is now is the frontrunner as it is now the only one that is listed as a serious contender.

However, commerical real estate broker Gerry Whitworth has said, "The company is going to Alabama. That announcement hasn't been made yet, but it's coming from some pretty reliable sources."

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It seems that Birmingham landed the biotech facility. This week's Birmingham Business Journal has pretty much confirmed that Solvay Pharmaceuticals has chose the city as its site for its first US facility. The official announcement won't come until October 9th though, and the ADO office has stayed mum on the details on the incentives package for the development also.

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