Thursday, May 15, 2014
Volvo picks Chickasaw Trail
By SUE WATSON
Developer William Adair announced to the Marshall County Board of Supervisors last week that Volvo Group North America will locate its Central Distribution Center at a site off Highway 72 in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
Adair is a partner in the development of Gateway Global Logistics Center in Marshall County and Fayette County, Tenn.
He said Volvo closed the deal Thursday, May 1, at 5 p.m. and the concrete is being poured for the first pad – a 1 million-square-foot facility northeast of ROXUL.
The site can be expanded to 1.3 million square feet. The pad is about 25 percent poured and will be finished very soon, Adair said.
Volvo Group will use the facility for distribution of Volvo parts. The timeline for it to be ready for Volvo is October 1, Adair said.
Volvo found this location attractive as a means of consolidating its warehousing operations from a number of facilities in the United States, he said. The site in Marshall County is attractive to help the company cut expenses and make use of the Norfolk Southern rail yard for transportation and distribution, according to Adair.
Marcus Avenstam, project manager for Volvo Group at the Marshall County site, said the new facility will carry all market products for all Volvo brands located in North America. These include, but are not limited to, Volvo Truck parts, Mack Truck parts, Volvo Penta (marine and industrial engines), UD Trucks, Volvo Construction Equipment and Volvo Bus.
He said the Volvo Group expects to start moving into the new distribution facility in the fall/winter of this year, and will move one brand at a time.
Avenstam expects it will take Volvo Group up to two and a half years to completely move its brands into this Central Distribution Center and that ultimately some 250 jobs will be created.
The Volvo Group conducted logistical studies and looked for a suitable property in the vicinity of Memphis, Tenn., he said. Several sites in several states were considered.
“This boiled down to this location,” Avenstam said. “It is the center of gravity where our sales are and it comes down to that it offers a centralized location which will improve delivery performance for customers.”
The move and consolidation will make Volvo more competitive, he said.
Volvo Group can be expected to stay a long time in Marshall County, Avenstam said, because it is the first building the company has bought.
“So, we don’t have a short time frame, but a long-term commitment,” he said.
Adair said he and his partners are working on two other sites, one of which could be a warehouse of over 1 million square feet.
He said the Mississippi Department of Transportation is trying to fast-track a red light to traffic on Highway 72 across from the Volvo distribution center.
Gateway Global Logistics Center consists of a 1,500-acre park that is situated on both sides of Highway 72. Part of the industrial site is located in Fayette County, adjacent to the Norfolk Southern intermodal terminal opened in July 2012.
WCA Land Development and Panattoni Development Company partnered to develop the Gateway Center.
GGLC was formed for both build-to-suit clients as well as for speculative development.
Adair said his development interests are to provide educational opportunities and jobs for the area.
He said the new warehouse will buy all its insulation from ROXUL, a new stone wool manufacturing facility opening soon in the Chickasaw Trail Industrial Park.
And his partnership is working on 15 other projects that would include a 3-million-square-foot facility and two more in the same size range, Adair said.
Key to some of the success of this new warehousing explosion in the parks is the Norfolk Southern intermodal yard in Rossville, Tenn., and the highway transportation network, including I-269 that is being built and passes by Chickasaw Trail near the Gateway site.
He thinks the rail yard will be highly beneficial to Marshall County industrial sites moving forward.
Adair thanked Marshall County for helping create the opportunity for the Gateway Global Logistics Center partners and Volvo, which will consolidate its warehousing needs in Marshall County. Volvo will service all the United States and Canada from here, he said.
He credited the planned widening of four miles of two- lane remaining on Highway 72 and the extension of Wingo Road to take traffic off Highway 72 as important components of getting Volvo to locate here.
Adair said lots of opportunities have opened up real fast since three years ago when the rail yard project got off the ground.
“So much water has gone under the bridge,” he said. “I think we will hit 15,000 to 20,000 jobs out there in the next 10 years or so.”
County administrator Larry Hall noted that the board of supervisors had to make strong decisions to get the development moving. He said Adair “is a visionary with common sense.”
“I’ve been blessed,” Adair said. “I came back home a wealthy man and went out into the world. When you get a few dollars you can do things. Great schools, and jobs – that is my ultimate goal.”
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