Brookhaven-Lincoln County Economic Development Alliance ready for spec building tenant

Published 9:20 am Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brookhaven is stepping up its economic development game with the addition of an industrial speculative building.

A ribbon cutting for the spec building will be Thursday at 3 p.m. at 702 Saints Trail in Brookhaven.

A spec building is one that is built without buyers waiting for its completion. This one is waiting to be occupied, which helps the future business owners move in as quickly as needed.

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“This was the main idea behind building this building,” Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Garrick Combs said. “We’ve potentially cut 18 months.”

Combs explained that many businesses do not have time to wait on buildings to be constructed, especially when they have to get their product in a market as quickly as possible.

For Lincoln County, this means attracting an industry that wants to take advantage of that luxury ready and waiting at Linbrook Industrial Park.

The spec building is 54,000 square feet, which was laid out in the site plan created by Dungan Engineering.

On this project, Combs spearheaded the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Economic Development Alliance. He was also responsible for making sure the prep work was completed.

“We had to do all the surveying and elevation work to know where the storm water and drainage was going, we had get cleared with federal and state agencies and we had to have soil borings to make sure it will hold up with a heavy manufacturer,” Combs said.

Combs also said that they also have a pad built to accommodate 150,000 square feet. The building itself can grow up to 200,000 square feet.

Combs represents the Alliance, which partners with Agaracel and Southwest MS Electric Power. All three partners are responsible for marketing the building to corporate real estate professionals.

Agaracel funded $2 million to construct the building. Agaracel is experienced in industrial buildings and owns 13 million industrial square feet in 18 states.

“We partnered up with them because I worked with them a number of times when I worked for the State of Mississippi,” Combs said.

With this project, Agaracel acts as the landowner and the developer.

“They have the expertise and capital and [Brookhaven] has the land,” he said.  “They found an area they think they can find success with and we feel that way too.”

Southwest MS Electric Power is the utility partner.

The Alliance was formed in 2005 alongside the acquisition and development of the Linbrook Park and is a subset of local government whose board has members from both the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors and the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen. At a joint session in June 2015, Combs presented  the Alliance’s plan and they voted unanimously to increase the Alliance’s budget by $80,000 from each board.

“While they were planning for fiscal year 2016, we approached them and laid out what we wanted to do, how long it’s going to take and what everyone wants out of the deal,” Combs said.

By the end of the meeting, both boards voted to go forward with the plan.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have those elected officials to vote on this and were all in favor of it. Now we have a unique product that’s going to be an advantage in Brookhaven,” Combs said. “I’m very thankful for those two boards’ vision to see that we could accomplish this. Very few communities can say that they have that kind of leadership and very communities have this type of building to market.”