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Southron

The Shoals/Quad Cities Developments

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Let's discuss news, projects and construction in The Shoals area of northwest Alabama. What's happening in The Shoals?

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A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the Shoals is under development. The state Legislature recently passed two bills that will allow area county governments to increase sales taxes by a half-cent, with the additional revenue going into an economic development fund.

Attendees at a public meeting for the plan identified the Tennessee River as a major asset to the Shoals, as well as the major four-lane highways, but they said the river was not being utilized as it should be. Also discussed was the expansion of training programs, especially with the anticipated arrival of a manufacturer (rail cars) that will require hundreds of welders.

Florence TimesDaily: Meetings helping to develop economic plan

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<< Threads merged. >>

Here's a new thread for the the developments in the Shoals. I'll be doing my best to find some stuff to put on here.

Edited by Southron

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good news coming, They can really use the jobs in this area of the state.

By Tom Smith

Senior Staff Writer

Last Updated:July 16. 2007 11:00PM

Published: July 17. 2007 3:30AM

A news conference is scheduled Wednesday morning to announce the Shoals has landed a major industry that will employ at least 1,500 people, the TimesDaily has learned.

Shoals Economic Development Authority officials began notifying the media about the announcement Monday afternoon.

A press release states that a "major announcement" will be made at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center in Florence. SEDA officials declined to comment on whether the announcement involves a railcar manufacturing company that has been eyeing the Shoals for more than a year.

The TimesDaily reported Sunday that the company, which will build freight and other railcars, has decided to build a large plant at Barton Riverfront Industrial Park in Colbert County. The park is just off U.S. 72, about 12 miles west of Tuscumbia.

The plant could be a mile long and at least 400 feet wide.

Sources said the company will be a part of National Steel Car of Hamilton, Ontario, but will operate under a different name. National Steel Car has been operating in Canada since 1912.

Gov. Bob Riley is expected to be among numerous officials who will be on hand to make the announcement.

Riley will likely be joined by state legislators who represent the Shoals as well as U.S. Rep Bud Cramer, D-Ala., and possibly U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions, both Alabama Republicans.

That projection is based on the average salary of employees being $15 per hour, which would bring the company's annual payroll to about $50 million.

Construction workers also will be heavily involved and will spend money in the community.

At $15 per hour, the average worker will make just over $30,000 a year.

Tom Smith can be reached at 740-5757 or [email protected]

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^ Great news for the Shoals area and the rest of northwest Alabama. That plant should have a major impact as a catalyst for further significant job growth and development. Another big feather in the cap for the crew at ADO.

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1800 jobs for NorthWest Alabama

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2007/07/shoals...plant_to_e.html

Gregory Aziz, Chairman and CEO of National Steel Car, National Alabama's parent company, says they chose Alabama from a group of 12 states.

"The Alabama team did an outstanding job, and in the end, our decision was an easy one. We are proud to be bringing National Alabama to this sweet home," said Aziz.

He also commented on Governor Bob Riley's dedication to bringing the company here.

"Governor Riley bleeds red, he bleeds red for this state," said Aziz. "The commitment is unbelievable."

National Steel Car is based in Hamilton, Ontario, but will operate in northwest Alabama under this new name. National Steel Car has operated in Canada since 1912. It is North America's leading railway car manufacturer. It's Hamilton plant produces 15,000 cars annually, and employs 2,500 people.

Several other leaders have joined Governor Riley for the announcement, including state legislators and U.S. Representative Bud Cramer.

"This is as good as it gets," said Cramer, when he talked about the potential of today's announcement.

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This is a terrific industrial landing by the state of Alabama. This will be a huge economic boost for the NWAL region around Florence, with probably some spill over for some of the TN counties (Hardin, Wayne, Lawernce) that have workers willing to commute to work at the plant, which I imagine there will be quite a few. These will be great high paying jobs for which there will be plenty of skilled labor ready to take up work ASAP.

I have really been impressed with the success of Alabama's industrial recruitment success with heavy industry and manufacturers here of late. Really impressive and something the state's citizens should be very proud of.

Again, great news for Alabama.

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1,800 jobs (6,931 total employment impact) at $15-18 per hour -- what a shot in the arm for the Shoals.

Florence Times-Daily articles about the railcar plant (may require site registration):

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The city of Florence hired the KPS Group to develop a comprehensive plan for the future development of the city. The 2007 Comprehensive Plan is available in .pdf format at the link below.

Florence Comprehensive Plan

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From the Florence Times Daily, this is ALDOT in a nutshell, click on the link for the entire story.

http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20070819.../708190360/1011

"It's been nearly a quarter of a century since the first piece of dirt was turned.

Now, the expansion of Alabama 157 from two to four lanes has officially ended without fanfare and with disbelief from people who have joked that they would never live to drive on it.

"I still don't believe it; it's a miracle," Lauderdale County resident Jason Tyler said, trying to keep from laughing. "Seriously. I always thought this day would never come."

In the early 1980s, widening Alabama 157 seemed to have merit. The road was to give motorists - and 18-wheelers that move products across the country - easier and safer access from the Shoals to Interstate 65 in Cullman.

Turning Alabama 157 into a four-lane highway also was to stimulate economic development in northwest Alabama, which had long been told it could not compete for big industrial projects because it lacked an interstate or easy access to one.

Getting the 56-mile project done has been far from simple, though.

Despite promises from candidate after candidate who stumped the Shoals looking for votes, progress has been slow and frustrating for area residents.

Now, nearly 25 years and $161 million later, Alabama 157 is four lanes from Muscle Shoals to the interstate exchange in Cullman."

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^ 25 years? Absolutely ridiculous.

---

Several years ago Shoals and RSA officials got together to plan a three-part economic development project: a new course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, a luxury hotel and an attraction for Veterans Park in Florence. The golf course and hotel/convention center have succeeded beyond expectations, but thus far nothing has taken place at Veterans Park. TVA threw a monkey wrench into the deal when it changed its shoreline development policy in 2006 to pretty much prevent any residential or commercial development.

Details in the article.

Florence Times-Daily: RSA project at 'standstill'

Article from early 2007-

Florence Times-Daily: RSA project exceeds most expectations

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Hello all! Long time lurker, first time poster..... read this in the local TimesDaily today Friday, Feburary 29, 2008, and I couldn't let the opportunity to share information pass by. It seems that a new privately funded golf course/resort is headed to the Shoals in the city of Sheffield

Hey here's the article in the paper today about the golf course in sheffield that i was talking about..... links at the bottom of the page are to jack nicklaus's website showing the project and to the consulting company working on the development...... Riverside resort in works

By Russ Corey

Staff Writer

SHEFFIELD Last Updated:February 28. 2008 11:15PM

Published: February 29. 2008 3:30AM A quick look

The issue: A group of investors is planning a development that will include a Jack Nicklaus golf course, resort, marina and shops along the Tennessee River in Sheffield.

<LI>What

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This is a big building..

from WAFF

4,000 feet long, 700 feet wide. It will soon be the North Alabama railcar plant. Project executive Paul Panelli says the biggest challenge with this project has been the design.

"As new process equipment vendors have been coming on board, we learn more about that equipment so it's caused some changes to the design very late in the process," Panelli said.

A process that's taken 300,000 man hours and 90 days of construction so far; but this project hasn't worn Panelli down.

"Very excited when we first started the project and the level of excitement has continued to build throughout the project.," he said.

A project that started with 300 workers on site, and will ultimately provide jobs for 1800 people.

railfactory.jpg

Edited by HSVTiger

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New hotel under construction

An $11 million apartment-style hotel will begin construction in August adjacent to the old Sweetwater Plantation, and tourism officials expect it will accommodate visitors during peak tourism times.

The Marriott Residence Inn is expected to be completed by the fall of 2009, bring 35-40 jobs and is projected to have $2.8 million in revenue for its first year.

The hotel will have a total of 110 studio, one bedroom and two bedroom suites that will include full kitchens, will be larger than typical hotel rooms and will resemble the layout of an apartment.

"The goal of the property is to provide a homelike atmosphere with business amenities and give a sense of community to its patrons," says Tony Contigiani, regional director of operations for Yedla Management Co., the project's developer out of Huntsville. "This can be achieved by guests connecting with guests, connecting with the associates and connecting with the community," he said.

http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20080522.../805220327/1011

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According to National Alabama officials, the first railcar will roll out of the 2 million sq ft facility in late April or early May, later than the February target due to equipment delays. When fully operational, the plant will produce 8,000 to 10,000 railcars per year.

National Alabama railcar timeline delayed

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