Source: The Birmingham News

The Birmingham Airport Authority has paid more than $7 million for 25 acres of land and nearly half a million square feet of industrial building space next to its air­cargo operation, an indication the airport may have big plans for industrial growth.

Al Denson, director of the Birmingham­ Shuttlesworth International Airport, said the purchase gives the cargo operation room to grow in the future.

“We are very excited to continue expan­sion and development of our cargo pro­gram,” Denson said.

State and local economic development officials share in that excitement. They have called for improvement to Birming­ham’s aviation and aerospace infrastruc­ture to put the metropolitan area in better position to capitalize on the state’s efforts to lure more companies in that industry.

Gov. Bob Riley in a recent interview said at least two aviation projects are consid­ering Birmingham.

“I think aviation and aerospace are going to be huge going forward,” he said.

Riley confirmed he has been involved in recruiting a helicopter project that has the metro area on its list of possible sites.

The 25 acres the authority purchased are nestled between its newly expanded cargo facility and Interstate 20/59 off 50th Street North next to Alabama Aircraft In­dustries’ vast airplane refurbishing plant.

Known as the Air Indus­trial Center, the site has 498,150 square feet of leased and vacant warehouse, manufacturing and office space. The two southern­most buildings of the Air In­dustrial Center, which house Steward Machine and Kennametal, were not part of the sale.

The center buildings are home to A-588 and A572 Steel Co. Inc., as well as Tasco LLC. The three indus­trial buildings nearest the cargo apron are vacant.

Jack Key and Ogden Dea­ton of Graham & Co. ap­proached the airport au­thority almost two years ago when three buildings near­est the cargo facility tract were vacated.

Key said the authority had considered buying the prop­erty 20 years ago when it last was on the market. He said recent expansions and property purchases at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport made it likely there would be more interest now than then.

“We thought this would be property they would want, given the growth that has been taking place at the airport,” Key said.

That was the case and the authority, after negotiating some requirements such as asbestos removal from one of the buildings, finally closed on the purchase this month, the brokers said…

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][ read entire article at ][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]