October 3, 2013
A project started in Piperton, Tenn., and moved to Rossville, Tenn., four years ago is now spilling over into Mississippi near the Mississippi/Tennessee line.
Developer William Adair hosted state and local officials from both Mississippi and Tennessee to bring players up to date on a vision for warehousing and shipping development at the state line. He said the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Facility in Rossville is performing better than expected and that he hopes to have a heavy-duty road built connecting the intermodal facility to Wingo Road at Cayce Road in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
Plans for a warehousing megasite on acreage in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park means that Marshall County could expect to have from 15,000 to 20,000 new jobs in 12 years.
Adair said it is not his project; he is just a player in it.
“It took a whole lot of people to get us here,” he said. “Mike Tagert with the Mississippi Department of Transportation did everything we asked him to do and probably some he did not want to do.
“This is by far more dear to my heart than anything I have done.”
The projects will create jobs and improve education in the area – an endeavor that will last 50 years, he said. The changes that will come in education will give children a chance to succeed, he said.
Currently, site work for two speculative warehouses, one 550,000-square-foot facility and a second 850,000-square-foot facility, is underway. Adair said site preparation for the pads for the two warehouses is a $3.4 million investment.
“We are comfortable enough that we are spending $20 million on the first building and $32 million on the second,” he said. “The intermodal business has doubled over the last seven years. We think it is a great business to be in.”
The Norfolk Southern intermodal facility is expanding its storage yard by 70 acres. Currently, the Norfolk Southern facility in Rossville has 1,000 acres and plenty of capacity for growth, according to Anne McMahon-Thielemier, market manager for Norfolk Southern in Memphis.
On the warehousing side, Adair said there are nine prospects looking at the Gateway Global Logistics site. Seventy percent of the looks is coming from warehousing and 30 percent is coming from the manufacturing industry, he said.
He said the Panattoni and Adair families have partnered as owners and developers in the warehousing deal.
“Today, our program is to get local politicians and MDOT people up to date on what is happening now,” Adair said. “And we want to get the 72 corridor four-laning and the overpass connecting Norfolk Southern rail to Highway 72 finished.”
The existing heavy-duty road to the Rossville intermodal yard will be extended across Highway 72, pass through the Gateway Global Logistics area, and tie into the highway network at Wingo Road and Cayce Road. The strip will be built to 120,000 pounds capacity.
“MDOT and MDA (Mississippi Development Authority) have been more than gracious over this whole project,” Adair said.
Tagert said North Mississippi is one of the fastest growing areas in the state.
“Mr. Adair recognizes that,” he said. “It is our role (MDOT's) to make sure we supply the proper infrastructure to make this investment a reality. We want the safest transportation system possible, but also the access to the state for the future.”
Tagert said the I-269 corridor, the future I-22 corridor and the Highway 72 area are major corridors for this development.
The state is investing $750 million in improvements in Marshall and DeSoto counties, Tagert said.
Jim Mercer with CB Richard Ellis development in Memphis, said he expects the Gateway Global Logistics project could generate 15 million square feet of space in 15 years.
“This one project has excited me about as much as any other,” he said.
Russell Johnson, president of the Marshall County Industrial Development Authority board, expressed amazement at how the projects have knitted together over the 20 years he has worked with IDA.
“Exciting,” he said.
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