Baldwin County in need of Class A industrial space, economic leaders say

BY TREVOR RITCHIE
Reporter
trevor@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 6/5/24

As Baldwin County searches for innovative routes toward generating the economic growth necessary to coincide with its rapid population rise, the need for Class A industrial space sits at the top of a …

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Baldwin County in need of Class A industrial space, economic leaders say

Posted

As Baldwin County searches for innovative routes toward generating the economic growth necessary to coincide with its rapid population rise, the need for Class A industrial space sits at the top of a key group's list.

Without increased industrial products to support demand, recruiting quality companies to the area becomes increasingly difficult as the industrial sector transforms alongside residential growth, said Walter Kemmsies, managing partner at The Kemmsies Group. He recently shed light on the county's critical demand for product development at the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance's (BCEDA) Economic Outlook Forum, saying, "We need Class A industrial real estate in this market yesterday."

"E-commerce-related distribution needs to be by a port for processing," Kemmsies added. "Stores cannot project inventory like they used to when so much product is going directly to your door."

BCEDA states Baldwin County is in prime position to capitalize on trends given its infrastructure near transportation routes and ports; however, Kimmsies projects the area might call for as much as 60 million square feet of industrial space at this rate, as only 22 million square feet exist currently between both Baldwin and Mobile County — little meeting the necessary Class A standards.

"Our need for Class A industrial product continues to be amplified as we grow and absorb space in our market — we have very little available today," said Lee Johnson, BCEDA executive vice president. "Speed to market drives many of our economic development projects, and having readily available industrial space is critical for us to continue to be competitive in recruiting companies."

The new I-10 bridge project and widening of the Port of Mobile are expected to serve as catalysts for industrial advancement, improvements that ensure Baldwin County continues to be one of the more accessible regions in the South.