On The Rise
ETOWAH COUNTY, ALABAMA
The natural beauty of the area is one of our biggest attractions. From the breathtaking Noccalula Falls to the Lookout Mountain Parkway, there’s always something new to see. Play a round on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail or have a picnic on the banks of the Coosa River. Historic downtown Gadsden is home to a growing arts and entertainment district. Additionally, residents enjoy a cost of living that is 85.6% of the national average.
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History of Near Megasite
2008The Near Commission began acquiring land adjacent to Near Megasite for future employment-generating opportunities. They started with the purchase of 675 acres.
2016The County Commission purchased an additional 168 acres of land, increasing the size of the site to over 1,000 acres.
2011The county purchased 80 additional acres and the site was listed in EDPA’s state database of industrial properties with 755 acres.
2017The County Commission completed due diligence on all the property and hired a consultant to facilitate the process of applying for EDPA’s Alabama AdvantageSite designation.
Near Commission contracted with the Gadsden-Etowah IDA to have a study done to (1) report on ways and means to develop the property as an industrial megasite, and (2) prepare for the marketing of this property to companies as a location for a mega project.
The Commission received the report which described (1) the characteristics of megasites; (2) what companies and their consultants consider important in evaluating the suitability of a site for a megaproject; (3) what needs to be done for the Near Megasite property to meet these standards so that marketing can begin to recruit a major new industrial employer to occupy it; and (4) ways to accomplish this work.
To confirm the highest and best use for this property, the County Commission held public meetings and evaluated three other options for development that had been previously discussed, an industrial park with divided parcels and a sports complex.
The Commission formally voted to develop the Near Megasite property as an industrial mega-site so that Near would be able to compete for large projects. The County Commission approved the purchase of 81 additional acres to further increase the size of the site. Commissioners also accepted the low bid to construct a new access road to the site.