BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - State and local officials think Birmingham could be the next tech hub.
Forty acres of land owned by U.S. Steel will soon become the Grand River Technology Park.
“We’re going to have the Southern Museum of Flight there, which we think is going to be a great tourist destination for people who want to go see the Southern Museum of Flight and then go see the Barber Motor Speedway. About 400,000 visitors a year at the Barber Motor Speedway,” says Josh Carpenter with the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity.
The city of Birmingham is committing more than $4 million to the project. A federal grant is also helping with development of the land.
“The money from the Abandoned Land Mines Grant will be used to grade and prepare the sites so that companies can come into what’s called a “pad-ready” site,” said Carpenter.
They’re searching for tenants now. The goal is to get high-wage tech jobs.
“And we’re growing tech jobs. In fact, we posted a little over 5,000 tech jobs last year,” Carpenter said.
The project partners the city with U.S. Steel, Jefferson County, and the city of Leeds. Officials estimate it could bring 1,200 jobs to the area.
“So, we’re excited about the jobs that may mean for the area and the visitors that will mean for the Southern Museum of Flight,” says Carpenter.
In a statement Wednesdsay morning, Governor Kay Ivey said the park will be a “regional nexus for research and development, tourism, and light manufacturing.”