The Shoals EDA: Partnerships & Powerful Outcomes


Economic development is a crucial aspect of any region's growth and prosperity, and partnerships play a vital role in fostering sustainable progress. Here in The Shoals, we are fortunate to have many top-tier partners who frequently bring their best to the table. A great example of partnerships at work is Governor Ivey's recent grant announcementthat the Florence-Advantage site will receivefunding under the new Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy Act (SEEDS).To better understand how this came about, let's travel back to the beginning.

Situated within the prestigious Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park, the Florence-Advantage Site stands as a testament to strategic planning and collective effort. Established as the oldest and most renowned industrial park in Lauderdale County, boasting over 50 thriving industries and a record capital investment exceeding $300 million, it symbolizes our community's commitment to progress. In 2012, the Shoals Economic Development Authority (Shoals EDA) seized an opportunity for expansion by acquiring the approximately 160-acre Florence-Advantage Site. This strategic move aimed to bolster the Industrial Park's footprint and streamline the site's marketing process for prospective projects. Even preceding this acquisition, the Shoals EDA, alongside the Florence-Lauderdale Expansion Committee and Industrial Development Board, had collaborated to designate the site as an Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Advantage Site back in 2009.

The history of the Florence-AdvantageSite is clear: with site and infrastructure investment comes industrial projects. Lauderdale County's most recent accomplishments are the direct result of continued investment, such as the location of TASUS after the purchase of the Florence-AdvantageSite and the location of Kith Kitchens during the extension of Gerrard Drive and Rushton Street. Prospective companies recognize a community's appetite for industry when investment is made to prepare sites for future industrial development.

Positioned strategically to allure industrial prospects, the Florence-Advantage Site represents a beacon of opportunity for our community. Recognizing its potential, the Shoals EDA embarked on a comprehensive plan to further elevate the site's appeal to potential investors. This plan includes timber clearing, construction of a new 300,000 square foot building pad, utility infrastructure enhancements, and stormwater management improvements on-site.

It is the intention of the Shoals EDA to approach this project as a true community, state, and regional effort. Multiple partnerships have been leveraged to bring this project together.

  • The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has bestowed funding through the InvestPrep program for the construction of the 300,000 square foot building pad and associated infrastructure, bolstering our competitiveness in attracting new investments.
  • Florence Industrial Development Board (IDB) and the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Expansion Committee (FLIEC) have pledged financial support for the expansion of the stormwater detention pond, underlining their commitment to sustainable development.
  • Through the State's SEEDs Act, funding has been secured to enhance infrastructure and site facilities, as well as support the construction of the new building pad and stormwater improvements amplifying the site's attractiveness to potential investors.
  • Complementing these contributions, the Shoals EDA Board and the Shoals Industrial Development Committee (SIDC) have dedicated additional funds from the Shoals Economic Development Fund (SEDF), cementing our collective resolve to propel economic growth.

Upon completion, the Florence-Advantage Site will emerge as a premier destination for industrial development, equipped with a 300,000 square foot building pad and supporting infrastructure. Moreover, the clearing and grubbing efforts will unlock approximately 20 acres of additional developable land, while stormwater retention improvements will eliminate the need for on-site detention, further enhancing the site's appeal. These enhancements, coupled with the ongoing construction of a 150,000 square foot speculative building, underscore our unwavering commitment to fostering sustainable growth and prosperity in The Shoals. 
The Shoals EDA: Programs and Purpose

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