A Birmingham company has plans to bring a 311,900 square foot development to Bessemer.

Graham & Company will construct a large cross-load industrial facility off of Powder Plant Road. The project is in the design and permitting phase with a projected completion in the fourth quarter of 2022. The company anticipates a tenant size of 80,000 square feet or more.

The Academy Logistics Center will be a distribution center built on about 36 acres offering cross-dock loading, ample trailer storage capability and high ceiling clearances to maximize racking ability. According to Jack Brown, senior vice president of the industrial group for the developers, this logistics center is one of the first speculative and possibly first multi-tenant development to have ceiling clearances of 36 feet.

The new facility will also feature concrete tilt wall construction, 66 dock doors, two drive-in doors and two 60-foot speed bays.

The building is a speculative project, which means it will be built before a tenant is secured. In this case, Graham & Company is building it to accommodate the need for more industrial space in the Jefferson County area.

“We feel like this type of product is underserved right now and is certainly a catalyst for job creation, and we’ve seen that take place up at the speculative buildings that we built at Daniel Payne,” said Henry Graham, vice president of development at Graham and Company. “So, we are optimistic that we can replicate that success in investment and ultimately, we want to be a creator and an economic force for jobs all across Alabama.”

The development is a 1031 exchange, which uses a law under the Alabama Tax Code to defer taxes on the sale of a different property if the profits are reinvested into the new project.

Academy Logistics Center will be in close proximity to the Amazon Distribution Center, Mercedes Benz U.S. International, and Jefferson Metropolitan Park. The building site is located near two access points to Interstate 20/59 at Exit 108 and Exit 110.

“We’re working with Jefferson County Department of Transportation on a new drive that would be signalized with a stoplight,” said Graham.

The stoplight would be located at the intersection of Splash Adventure Parkway, Powder Plant Road, and the facility’s new drive.

For this project, Graham & Company has partnered with CCI civil engineering company and Arco Design/Build of Atlanta, which is also a collaborator on the TSF Sportswear distribution center being built off Lakeshore Parkway. Bradley Arant has also assisted with legal work on the project.

“We work well as a team and are working well with Jefferson County and the folks with the city of Bessemer that are going to all have to be instrumental in helping us meet this timeline that we think is achievable and will really help this building be available when we think some deals that are going to be coming into the market later this year,” said Graham.

The developers broke ground on another speculative industrial project in 2021, the Crossroads Commerce Center, located off Daniel Payne Drive near Hooper City.

Henry Graham is leading the development team and Jack Brown and Sonny Culp will handle leasing for Academy Logistics Center. The company hopes to have the facility fully leased by January 2023.

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