Canada-based Samuel, Son &Co., Limited, a metal processor and distributor, had a need to establish a facility in the southeastern (TN, AL, GA, MS) United States in order to supply automotive parts to automotive assembly plants in the Southeast. The requirement called for a rail served site to accommodate between 100,000 to 150,000 square feet with an expansion pad to grow to 200,000 square feet and with zoning to allow 50’ ceiling heights exceeding 24’ clear. The property had to be a non-developer owned site so Colliers could send out Request for Proposals (RFPs) to developers for either build to suit to own or lease. The location needed to have a trainable and skilled workforce, aggressive incentives and a cooperative local government.
Samuel engaged the Colliers Charlotte and Birmingham team to locate suitable sites and buildings (if any existed) within Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Additionally, the team was to create a competitive environment for negotiating the most advantageous occupancy cost structure for the new facility with developers. The project was very time sensitive as a decision on the location had to be made in a matter of a few months.
The Colliers team quickly performed detailed market research and evaluated the market for available existing buildings and build to suit sites. The properties were evaluated based on cost, quality and labor. Additionally, the team set up and assisted with labor interviews from a previously developed a questionnaire. After a tour of selected sites and meetings with state, local economic development officials and utility representatives, the Colliers team and Samuel narrowed the locations to three properties; one located in Alabama and two located in Tennessee. Colliers submitted a request to both states and all three communities to submit incentive packages; which were analyzed by the team and then delivered in a comparison format to Samuel officials.
In 2014, Samuel & Sons chose a facility located in Columbia, Tennessee based upon an aggressive incentive package, lower occupancy costs and completion of the project in a timely fashion.