Linbrook investment creates better recruitment environment

Published 10:11 am Thursday, June 4, 2015

City and county officials were wise to invest in the Linbrook Business Park years ago. When the existing industrial park neared capacity, there was the expectation that a new business park would soon welcome tenants.

But the Great Recession derailed those hopes, and the park has sat empty since. But a renewed effort to bring industry to Linbrook hopes to change that. Both Brookhaven and Lincoln County agreed recently to increase funding of the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Economic Development Alliance, a group that governs Linbrook.

The plan is to partner with industrial development company Agracel to construct a spec building that will hopefully entice a business to locate there.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“What they do is they come into a market like ours, and they take a look at our property, our community, what we’ve got to offer, and they make a decision to whether or not to invest in that community and build a facility in partnership with us,” Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garrick Combs said. “And then we all go out and market it. What they’re looking for is a permanent, long-term tenant for the building. What we’re looking for is new jobs, new investment and development of the new industrial park.”

“Speed-to-market has elevated on companies’ must-have list steadily over the last 10 years,” Combs said. “When a business identifies an opportunity in the market they want to make sure they can capitalize on that. To cut 12 months off their timeline is a very attractive selling point.”

That first industry to locate in any industrial park is crucial — others will follow suit once they see a successful business there. This effort will hopefully get that first business on board.

Some will likely groan at the thought of spending additional dollars on Linbrook. But attracting business and industry takes money. Like it or not, economic development is often a game of “what can you do for me?”  We can either embrace it and do our best to attract new industry and new jobs, or sit back while other cities and counties do.