Spec building underway in Troy

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, June 21, 2012


(CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) City officials, builders and supporters of the spec building program visited the site on Thursday afternoon. Back Row (left to right): Charlie Dunn, Troy City Council; Dickey Calhoun, Pike County Economic Development Board Attorney; Denny Sanford, Pike County Economic Development Board of Directors; Jack Norton, City of Troy Industrial Development Board; Alex Whaley, II, Contractor, Whaley Construction Company. Front Row (left to right): Victor Wyatt, Power South; Andy Kimbro, South Alabama Electric Coop.; Johnny Witherington, Troy City Council; Vicki McPherson, Pike County Economic Development Board of Directors; Homer Wright, Chairman Pike County Commission; Marsha Gaylard, President Pike County Economic Development Corp.; Sandy Boutwell, Vice President Pike County Economic Development Corp.

There’s a skeleton of a speculative building in place at Troy’s Industrial Park South waiting on a buyer to nibble at the location.

“One day there was nothing on the site and, all of a sudden, the frame was there and then the roof went on,” said Marsha Gaylard, president of the Pike County Economic Development Corporation.

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The building is planned to be about 50,000 square feet, but there is an additional pad adjacent to the structure in case a company would need an immediate expansion.

“We’ve tried to make it as flexible as possible,” Gaylard said.

Gaylard explained that 80 percent of companies coming into the state to look for possible locations are looking for empty, available buildings.

The last available large building in Troy went to Golden Boy Foods, she said.

“If we don’t have a building on the state website, we’ll be overlooked,” Gaylard said. “We can’t let that happen.”

It already happened once, this year, which pushed the need for a spec program. A car parts manufacturer loved Troy, according to previous interviews with Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, but decision makers were dead set on moving into a building already in place.

The spec building under construction will not include flooring, but will have thick insulation and limited electricity as part of the plan to make the structure as appealing to as many industries as possible.

Gaylard said she expects the building to be complete in less than 90 days and then the EDC will begin marketing the location in ways that include aerial photography.

When the building is sold, the process will begin again.

“It is a spec program, not just one building,” Gaylard said. “As soon as we’ve got a company in this building we’ll start another one.”

Builder Alex Whaley, II said the project has been “a pleasure.”

“It’s going to be done here, shortly,” Whaley said. “Now all we need is a tenant.”