August 1, 2007


Alcoa hires economic development consultant to study future uses for smelter site

When most people drive past the Badin Works aluminum smelter, they see a reminder of the past.  But for Robin Spinks, all she can think about is the future.
Spinks is a partner with Greenfield, an economic development consultant hired by Alcoa to help create a plan for bringing new life to the Badin Works site.  She has spent the past several months getting familiar with the site and pondering what the future might hold.

Alcoa is taking an aggressive approach toward the redevelopment of the smelter site.  Greenfield is currently conducting a “highest and best use” study to help determine how the site can be redeveloped in a way that will bring high-paying jobs and a large tax base back to the community.
The work involves evaluating the features of the existing plant site and comparing those attributes with the criteria used by major industries to select new plant locations.  This process helps identify which industries may be interested in the site based on its unique characteristics, including its massive electrical capabilities, access to two rail lines, etc.
Spinks says the Badin Works site is unique in North Carolina and nationally due to its size, location, infrastructure and zoning.  The consultants will consider every feasible use for the property, but they say it offers many attractive features for another industrial user.
An initial evaluation indicates the site might attract industries with significant electrical needs and a reliance on rail, while it is less suited for industries that rely heavily on highway transportation.  The closest interstate is approximately 30 miles away.
Some of the potential prospects identified by Greenfield include a power plant, recycling center, biodiesel plant, boat manufacturer, tile manufacturer, paper mill or data storage facility.   For the time being, however, Alcoa remains open to all possibilities.  Its main desire is to find a partner that can bring quality jobs and an increased tax base to the region.
Greenfield is working closely with Robert Van Geons, Stanly County’s Economic Development Director, and other economic development officials across the state to market the Badin Works site.
Interest appears to be strong.  Several companies have already inquired about the site, and Greenfield has contacted several dozen companies that are currently searching for a new location.
Industrial user offers best potential for high paying jobs, large tax base
BADIN, NC (December 4, 2007) — As Alcoa moves forward with plans to redevelop the Badin Works site, it should focus its efforts on luring another industrial user who can take advantage of the site’s unique infrastructure and bring high-paying jobs to community.
That is the recommendation of Greenfield, an economic development consultant hired by Alcoa to conduct a “best and highest use analysis” of the smelter site in Badin.  The firm spent several months evaluating the site and comparing its features with criteria used by major industries to select new plant locations. 
Another important consideration that Alcoa asked Greenfield to consider: which industries have the greatest potential to benefit the community by offering strong employment opportunities and a large tax base?
Greenfield carefully considered dozens of potential uses — ranging from a chemical plant or a power plant to a military training facility or an amusement park — and ranked the top 35 potential industries.  The industries that scored best included power plants and industrial manufacturing plants that could take advantage of the site’s existing infrastructure, including its massive electrical and natural gas capabilities, water supply and dual rail access.
“This study provides valuable insight that will help us move forward with our efforts to attract new industries and new jobs to Badin,” said Mark Stiffler, Director Asset Management for Alcoa.  “We now have a better understanding of how this site can be used by other corporations and can begin to aggressively promote the site to those industries.”
While Alcoa will use the study’s ranking to guide its marketing efforts, the company remains willing to consider any redevelopment opportunity that can utilize the plant site to benefit the local community.
“The beautiful resort setting and the region’s focus on becoming a tourist destination presents many opportunities outside of manufacturing,” said Robin Spinks, a partner in Greenfield.  “Those opportunities typically fall to the bottom of the rankings, however, because they provide lower wage jobs and do not require the infrastructure the Badin Works site offers.”
Alcoa has already begun marketing the site to companies that are actively searching for a new location.  Greenfield is working closely with Robert Van Geons, Stanly County Economic Development Director, and other economic development officials across the state. 
Industry Rankings according to Greenfield Study
  1. Other Primary Metals
  2. Pulp / Paper Mills
  3. Power Plant (Coal)
  4. Chemical Plant
  5. Power Plant (Combined Cycle)
  6. Ethanol / Biodiesel
  7. Tile / Ceramic manufacturing
  8. Oriented Strand Board (OSB) / Plywood Mill
  9. Power Plant (Waste)
  10. Tires / Other Rubber Plant
  11. Power Plant (Gas Peaking)
  12. Glass Manufacturing
  13. Wall Board Manufacturing
  14. Non-Woven Textiles
  15. Military Training Facility
  16. Fuel Blending / Tank Farm
  17. Rail Car Manufacturing / Service
  18. Movie Location
  19. Hazardous Waste Incinerator
  20. Data Storage Facility
  21. Boat Manufacturing
  22. Concrete Production
  23. Conveyor Belt Manufacturing
  24. Recycling Center
  25. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
  26. Historic Site
  27. Military Vehicles
  28. Conference Center
  29. Retirement / Life Care Center
  30. Metal Fabrication
  31. Manufacturing Incubator
  32. Grain Storage
  33. Amusement Park
  34. Manufactured Homes