By Tia Lynn Ivey
The Stanton Springs Industrial Park is slowly expanding toward Morgan County as the $3.5 million project to extend the Shire Parkway 2,400 feet moves forward. Bob Hughes, president of the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, presented the latest update on Stanton Springs to the Morgan County Board of Commissioners. Stanton Springs Industrial Park currently houses Takeda, a $1.2 billion biopharmaceutical company, a $14 million Bioscience Training Center and a new Facebook data center is currently being developed at the site. The first phase of the project is estimated to cost $750 million. Later phases could cost up to $42 billion over the next two decades.
The Joint Development Authority (JDA), the four-county board tasked with the development of Stanton Springs Industrial Park, voted to accept a $3.546 million bid from Plateau Excavation to extend the Stanton Springs Parkway all the way into Morgan County in February.
The money to fund the parkway extension was generated through the land sale to Facebook, the largest social media company in the world that is currently building a new data center in Stanton Springs.
After distributing some of the land sale funds to each of the four counties, Morgan, Jasper, Walton and Newton, money was put aside for the parkway extension project, which will open new business development opportunities in Stanton Springs.
“This is a fully funded project,” said Hughes to the BOC on Tuesday, July 2.
According to Hughes, the extended parkway will open up another 500-600 acres to sell to other financially-lucrative companies, which will yield more profits for Morgan County through land sale revenues, future property taxes and job opportunities.
Hughes anticipated the development of hotels and restaurants near Stanton Springs, which would potentially bring in more visitors to Morgan County.
Once the parkway is completed, JDA members hope even more lucrative businesses will flock to Stanton Springs to purchase the rest of the land that is ripe for economic development.