Joe Max Higgins, CEO of the Lowndes County Development LINK said The Global Industrial Aeropark can “literally be the goose that laid the golden egg,” for the Golden Triangle.
At Monday’s meeting of the Starkville Rotary Club, Higgins told a packed house of Rotarians and guests that the Global Industrial Aeropark at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport will become the provider for most of the manufacturing jobs in this area as the project builds over the course of the next 20 to 30 years.
“If we play our cards right, this project will be a cash cow for the Golden Triangle for years to come,” Higgins said. “It is an asset that we must manage.”
Higgins said the GTR Global Industrial Aeropark features 2,500 acres of publicly owned/controlled adjacent to commercial airport.
Other features of the mega site include:
• 6,500 feet runway, and will be expanded to 8,000 feet in May;
• $100 million invested in infrastructure since 2003;
• Potential for competitive rail service;
• Redundant, reliable electrical infrastructure on site;
• Direct rail to port access;
• State-of-the-art industrial training facility;
• Two nationally-recognized engineering and top-ranked aerospace schools within a one hour drive, Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama;
• Existing aerospace cluster.
“This in not just a big piece of land,” Higgins said. “This is big land with infastructure.”
Higgins said the mega site featured “huge power, huge land space, and huge water and sewer.”
The project began with the idea of creating “something that would stand out.” The vision for the GTR Global Industrial Aeropark is to create something unique to Mississippi, and in the Southeast.
Higgins discussed the interplay of the communities in the Golden Triangle, and the importance of vital infastructure to get, not only Oktibbeha and Clay county residents to the Aeropark, but reisdents from Louisville and other outlying counties.
“Artesia Road (in Oktibbeha County) is a major critical part of the project,” Higgins said.
He said Artesia Road will be a major “east-west connector.”
Casting a long range plan is essential for developing and selling this project. Higgins said it could take 20 to 30 years to build out the aeropark.
Higgins said a digital model of the aeropark plans, as well as many additional details of the aeropark project are can been seen at http://www.gtraerospacepark.com/ .
There is a link to the site from the LINK website. Jon Maynard of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership said a link to the project will be featured on the new GSDP website launching soon.