Wal-Mart intends to construct a massive distribution center on roughly 400 acres in Mobile County, and the city of Mobile and the county will spend approximately $2.3 million each for the project, according to a legal notice published on Friday.
The notice disclosed that the Mobile County Commission will discuss an agreement with Wal-Mart at its June 30 meeting. The notice says the company will construct, equip and operate an “import intermodal facility,” which will serve regional distribution centers with products shipped through the Alabama State Port Authority’s port in Mobile.
WKRG reported on Friday the 2.9 million square foot distribution center will be located at the intersection of Interstate 10 and McDonald Road in Irvington.
County Commission President Jerry Carl said this afternoon the facility will be Wal-Mart’s third “super regional facility” in the country, bringing 550 jobs to the area as well as additional seasonal jobs.
“This is a huge development for Mobile County,” he said. “We competed with dozens of other cities and counties for this, and I feel this is just the start, just the beginning. If you know anything about Wal-Mart, where they go, everybody follows. I can see us becoming a major distribution center for the East Coast.”
According to the notice, the county will expend up to $2.3 million for capital expenditures, site acquisition costs, development costs, access and other costs including permitting, design and engineering. Carl said the deal gives “way more bang for the buck” than the county’s investment in luring both ThyssenKrupp (now Outokumpu) and Airbus.
“These are great jobs for people in my district,” he said. “It’s not like highly technical jobs, it’s not like assembling an aircraft, but I can get my CDL license and drive a forklift or truck.”
Carl said the commission was unanimous in courting the project and agreeing upon the incentive package. The property is owned by the family of Jim Atchison, who historically used it to farm potatoes and corn for the Frito Lay corporation.
The notice also says the city of Mobile will expend up to $2.3 million on the project and together, the city and county will advance approximately $741,052 for initial site acquisition costs, which will be reimbursed. Wal-Mart will also receive roughly $7 million in incentives from the state of Alabama, according to news reports.
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