A new economic development project is getting underway in Birmingham.

Graham & Co. purchased 29 acres of land off Daniel Payne Boulevard on Tuesday for $2.5 million from American Cast Iron Pipe Co. and has plans to immediately start construction on a speculative warehouse building to recruit business to the metro area.

The Opportunity Zone land in the city of Birmingham is behind Boyd Bros. and Birmingham Freightliner and is at the end of ACIPCO Industrial Drive.

Jack Brown, senior vice president with Graham & Co., said the company has a phase one build fully planned, and it will include a 186,000-square-foot building with 15,000 square feet of bays, ESFR sprinklers, dock doors, a truck court, 46 trailer storage spaces, 132 auto parking spaces and more.

Brown said the deal is significant for the area and brings a modern product to the market in a core area of Birmingham with easy access to the major interstate systems.

“The city has a large industrial park out there that is pretty much sold out of land, and I’ve been looking at this site for a number of years,” he said. “I think it’ll be a good thing for the city. This is part of the central business district, which is really at the center of the bullseye, if you want to call it that, of the Birmingham market. There’s been a lot of interest in this area, but very few, if any, sites. It will be the first central business district warehouse development project — there was a small project done in 1991 — and then you would have to go back until 1980 or before. So there’s a real lack of modern product in the central business district.”

The last time Graham & Co. developed a large speculative building was in 2006-2007, and another smaller building was built in 2018. Multiple phases of the project also are on the drawing board.

“This is really the first major speculative project and in quite some time,” Brown said. “This first building will be 186,000, and then we would have a twin 186,000. Once we get that leased, then we would have another 5-acre site that we could use for additional trailer storage or parking, or we could build another 60,000-square-foot building.”

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