Developer announces plan for upscale apartments in Ozark

Written by odaleedc. Posted in News

By Ebony Horton: Dothan Eagle

OZARK—An Enterprise real estate developer who said he was involved with the development of Sweetwater Apartments in Dothan and Prattville announced plans Tuesday to locate a similar gated community in Ozark.

The Ozark City Council unanimously approved signing a memorandum of understanding with Incipit LLC for "Camilla Park Apartments" on Tuesday. Real estate developer Bill Ware said he intends to develop Camilla Park near the intersection of U.S. Highway 231 and Alabama Highway 27, near the Hampton Inn, into an upscale gated community of 136 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.

Ware said the communities like Sweetwater in Dothan and Prattville that are similar to the proposed development are typically gated with two-story walkups, a clubhouse, laundry facility, fitness center, tanning salon, and water features.

Ware said the apartments would generally run from around $650 and up a month.

Ware said that under the memorandum of understanding, the city will purchase the building materials for the project and be reimbursed by the developer. Ware said the agreement could save around $400,000 to $500,000 on sales tax for a $10 million project.

Ware said another component of the memorandum of understanding is an incentive that says the project will lease so many units per month with the city undersigning a sort of "master lease," which says the city will make good on the rents that would otherwise be due if the apartments are not occupied within 30 months.

Ware said the developments generally take up to a year to build.

"A number of companies would like to come to Ozark, but when they ask where their 50 or so employees are going to reside, those options are limited. I believe the city looks at this project as a stimulus and a real catalyst for the next level of growth," he said.

"Our history is such that we try to create a community within our properties, recognizing that a lot of folks at all ages choose rental housing as opposed to buying single-family homes or townhouses, for the most part because of a lack of having to worry about maintenance."

Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell said such a project has been long awaited in the city.

"This would be very attractive to our neighbors at Fort Rucker, very convenient, and certainly something I think that's well within the line of the next step we need to take to move our city forward," he said.

Tractor Supply Company to open store in Ozark

Written by odaleedc. Posted in News

By Ebony Horton, Dothan Eagle

OZARK—Between 12 and 17 new jobs are expected in Ozark after a company with stores throughout the Wiregrass and the country announced it would locate a facility in the city this summer.

Tractor Supply Co. (TSC), based in Brentwood, Tenn., is expected to open its doors in the old Walmart building, estimated to be around 26,005 square feet, in Martindale Plaza on Andrews Avenue in mid-June.

According to its website, TSC is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the U.S. with more than 1,100 stores in 44 states and more than 15,000 workers, with revenues estimated around $4 billion.

Among the company's products are tractor/trailer parts and accessories, lawn and garden supplies, welding and pump supplies, riding mowers, equine and pet supplies.

Company spokesman Rob Hoskins said Ozark was "attractive" for the company because of part-time and hobby farmers and horse owners in the area.

"As a growth-minded company, TSC is always looking for potential new store locations that are a good fit as far as the target market is concerned. ... Tractor Supply Company is looking forward to being a member of the Ozark business community," Hoskins said in a statement.

The company started in 1938, according to its website. Other TSC stores in the Wiregrass are located in Andalusia, Dothan, Eufaula and Troy.

Tanya Roberts, executive director of the Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce, said interviews for positions at the company could take place in May at the chamber.

Ozark Council President Mike Barefield said the Andrews Avenue facility had been vacant for more than a decade, but the plaza was recently purchased by Dothan resident John Watson.

"That particular area is probably one of our strongest corners, so to have someone locate there is a really good sign that could really generate more revenue and retail," Barefield said.

Korean Automotive Component Manufacturer Plans Headquarters and Plant in Southeast Alabama

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Yura Corp., a Seoul, South Korean manufacturer of automotive electronic and ignition components, will open its U.S. headquarters and build its first manufacturing facility in Dothan, Alabama.

While the total amount of Yura's expected investment has not been determined, the project will initially create 60 jobs, with the ultimate total number predicted to be higher.

Yura takes great pride in the rapid advances in the development that Korea's automobile industry has made, a company spokesman said. Recent use of automotive electronic components with highly advanced semiconductor chips is on the rapid rise, as vehicles become more intelligent and complex in their functionality. The importance of the wire harness, the connecting pathway that Yura produces, has become more important in eco-friendly cars. Yura strives to develop technologies and components for eco-friendly cars with a goal of maximizing fuel efficiency and going-green in ignition system parts such as stick coils.

-From the press release issued by the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce

Southeast Alabama is extremely fortunate to have Yura join its local manufacturing base and we look forward to forming stronger partnerships with automotive suppliers in the future.

Regional Group Developing Mega-Site

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A group from Southeast Alabama and Northwest Florida has been working for several months to prepare for a future mega project for the region. The group has identified several possible sites that could attract a mega-project including steps to "certify" the site as ready for an industrial expansion.

Economic development representatives from the areas have been meeting for more than six months to prepare for a project that could dramatically impact the region. In addition to identifying potential sites, the region has requested a workforce study to ensure potential companies that an available, trainable workforce exists in the region.

"This is a serious effort and we believe that we can be successful in attracting a major job creator for the region. We know that we have the workforce and great sites with strategic infrastructure. It's the perfect time to come together as a region for job creation," said Matt Parker, president of the Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce and co-chairman of the effort.

Greg Canfield, director of the Alabama Development Office, indicated support for regional collaboration. "Every region has a uniqueness and must determine the best ways to enhance their development efforts, with the Alabama-Florida partnership it certainly offers great potential to enhance the lives of Alabama and Florida citizens. From an Alabama perspective, we understand the benefits of working together with our neighboring states and look forward to further collaboration."

In Florida, Gray Swoope, secretary of commerce and president & CEO of Florida's public/private economic development agency, Enterprise Florida, said, "I applaud the region for working together to find a competitive mega-site. Florida's focus is on job creation and our team supports any effort of this type to get companies focused on Northwest Florida."

"We know there are potential projects for this region," said Neal Wade, executive director of the Bay Economic Development Alliance and the other co-chairman of the effort. "And to have a united effort with this many counties and two states, should attract the attention of major companies that may be looking to locate in the Southeast United States."