Bessemer continues to land businesses even with COVID-19

New distribution center coming to Bessemer

BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) - While COVID has negatively impacted several Alabama cities, it doesn’t seem to have slowed Bessemer down.

The city is getting ready to welcome another company, which will mean jobs and more tax dollars.

COVID has created some problems, but companies who need to move products and equipment believe Bessemer is a good place to do business.

Bessemer is teaming up with the county and working with ALDOT to improve truck traffic for these companies.

The Birmingham Business Journal said Tuesday an un-named big box company will be locating a 1.2 million square feet distribution center off of Morgan Road next to CARVANA, a car online retailer.

“$45 million impact on the city and creates jobs. We are talking 150 jobs, $18-$20 an hour,” said Bessemer Mayor Kenneth Gulley.

The city has landed an Amazon Fulfillment Center and CARVANA.

Mayor Gulley said the big key in all of those decisions was access to a major interstate. “Location, location, location. I think access to three major interstates helps us,” Gulley said.

Road work will be needed on Morgan Road to improve that access. The mayor said they have benefited from working on this project before COVID hit, but Jefferson County Commissioner Jimmie Stephens said COVID created some problems. Virtual contacts with businesses helps, but it still takes in person meetings to seal the deal.

“That is the way you seal the deal. You talk to people. You put forth the advantages to doing business in Jefferson County, in this case the city of Bessemer,” Stephens said.

Next week, Planning and Zoning in Bessemer will have to approve zoning changes to help create the distribution center. Stephens says watching their budget during COVID helps. They have set aside $10 million to help land economic development projects like this this one.

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